Cycling Scotland study finds 57% of households don’t have a bike

Cycling Scotland has conducted a survey into cycling habits and attitudes, surveying over 1000 people across across all age and income groups and the length and breadth of Scotland (only very remote rural areas were not covered).

The main findings included:

  • 57% of households do not have an adult bicycle
  • 81% of adults never cycle for daily journeys and 75% never cycle for leisure
  • In contrast, 80% of children cycle, with the majority of those cycling at least once a week

Cycling drops off rapidly after young adults gain their driving license and reasons not to cycle included feeling unsafe on busy roads, higher practicality offered by other transport solutions and the weather. The No.1 factor identified by potential cyclists to encourage them to take up two wheels was dedicated cycling infrastructure.

John Finnie MSP, the transport spokesman for the Scottish Greens, commented: “It’s little wonder that so many Scots don’t see themselves as regular bike users when you consider the lack of cycling infrastructure that exists in this country. “

National News paper, i reported that a Transport Scotland spokesman said the Scottish Government was increasing its investment in “active and sustainable transport and is committed to a range of measures to tackle barriers – such as age, isolation, gender and social deprivation – faced by those less likely to take up active travel.”

Other findings included:

  • Households with higher incomes were more likely to cycle, as were men and those aged under 55
  • A broad range of “sub sectors” were identified from “Cycling Enthusiast” to “Safety Conscious Rejecters”
  • For those who were found to cycle every day, 71% do so primarily for health reasons

The report also highlighted that a large proportion of the population “were discouraged from taking up cycling as they felt they didn’t fit their image of a cyclist” (Katharine Brough, Cycling Scotland).

The full report can be downloaded here.