Britain’s cyclists: are our roads safe enough?

Other than travelling by train, plane or on a pathway, 90% of all journeys were completed on Britain’s roads in 2014. On these roads, 83% of journeys were undertaken in a car, van or taxi – covering more than 600 billion kilometres over the course of the year.

Although the vast majority of journeys are by road, only 1% of those were by cyclists in 2014. This is a 13% decrease in the use of cycles since 1952, when official figures stood at 14%.

True Solicitors, specialists in bicycle accident claims, assess and evaluate the safety of the UK’s roads, and whether they could be safer in order to encourage more cyclists to use our roads regularly.

The consensus across Britain

1.5 million people over the age of 18 cycled on a daily basis in 2015, according to the the British Social Attitudes survey – accounting for 3% of the total people surveyed.

Surprisingly, based on those surveyed, 69% claimed that they had never cycled before, representing 34 million people within the survey. This is as a direct result of the clear lack of cyclists across the UK more generally. However, by analysing individual countries within the UK, the idea that Britain is uninclined to use a bicycle as a form of transport of our roads becomes clearer.


Of the total number of people surveyed, in Scotland, less than 10% claimed that they cycle on a regular basis. As a means of transport, 3% of people aged over 16 used a bicycle 1 – 2 days a week. 2% used one 3 -5 days a week, and only 1% used a bicycle nearly every day of the week.


In England, the overall picture appears comparatively similar to Scotland, as of those surveyed over the age of 16 between 2014 – 2015, 3% claimed that they cycled five times a week (1.3 million) – less than the overall national average within the United Kingdom. The survey also found that 15% cycled at least once per month, which equates to 6.6 million people.

As opposed to using their bikes as a reliable form of transport on a regular basis, many cyclists are choosing to use their bicycles as a form of leisure rather than a replacement vehicle for their car, for example.


In Wales, 6% of those over the age of 16 suggested that they cycled 1 – 2 times a day in 2014 – 15, which is a comparative figure to those who cycled five times a week in England.

Due to the hazards that they face on our roads, the number of cyclists may be diminishing. For Britain to be willing to use cycling more enthusiastically as an everyday form of transport, perhaps the safety of our roads need to be improved first.


http://www.cyclinguk.org/resources/cycling-uk-cycling-statistics#How many people cycle and how often?