London amongst the worst major cities for cyclists, finds Wiggle Study

Multi-sports retailer Wiggle has given London a dressing down in research detailing the best and worst cities for cyclists in the UK.

The data, which analysed sentiment from over 6,000 UK sports enthusiasts, reveals which cities across the UK are the most, and least, cycle friendly. The research found that London is among the worst cities for cycling while the city of Newcastle has ranked the best.

54% of London cyclists surveyed stated aggressive drivers in the capital as a reason they don’t feel safe on the roads, closely followed by drivers in Brighton and Hove (50%), Glasgow (49%), Leeds (49%) and Liverpool (49%). Welsh drivers are thought to be the friendliest, with just 24% of Aberystwyth cyclists feeling concerned about inconsiderate drivers.

Wiggle’s data has also revealed that London also tops the charts for the highest volume of traffic with half of local respondents (50%) labelling this the worst city for cyclists due to the number of vehicles on the road, as well as 42% stating that the capital has the most dangerous junctions.

This comes after the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and TfL have revealed plans to fast track the transformation of London’s roads in May of this year. Streetspace will give space to new cycle lanes and wider pavements to enable social distancing. Landmark routes will get temporary bike routes and more space to work to alleviate the train on the Tube and buses.

Newcastle was named the best city for cycle crossings, with 11% of Geordies revealing they feel confident in crossing busy roads safely. This comes after the cities Cycling Campaign called on its local authority and agencies responsible for the roads to “make road safety relevant to modern times” in 2016.

Huw Crwys-Williams, Commercial Director at Wiggle said: “At Wiggle we understand that the love of sport and cycling provides an opportunity for athletes of all levels to get together outdoors, create a sense of fulfilment and enjoy life, and we recognise how important it is to feel safe on our roads. Despite the recent focus on cycling and improvements in our towns, our research shows that many of our customers still feel that there is a way to go before the UK’s major cities are truly cycle friendly. We are all on a journey to improve Britain’s cycling infrastructure, and we hope our findings support the continuation of this drive both nationally and locally.

“We want every rider to have the best cycling experience possible no matter the distance while keeping themselves safe, and we encourage consumers to visit the wealth of information available within the cycling community including our website for further advice.”

In addition, high volumes of potholes and uneven surfaces was the most commonly stated reason cyclists don’t feel safe traveling by bike in urban areas. Edinburgh ranked the worst with 61% of local respondents complaining about the condition of road surfaces, closely followed by Glasgow (58%). Wolverhampton was ranked the best with only 31% of local cyclists concerned about the state of their city’s roads.

Furthermore, those polled claimed that dedicated cycle paths played the biggest role in helping cyclists feel safe in their city. People travelling through the capital by bike enjoy the most dedicated cycle lanes with 34% of Londoners praising the city for its well thought out paths.

The data reveals that Cambridge residents enjoy a higher percentage of pedestrian and cycle only lanes with 15% of locals commending the city for its commitment to cycling.

Earlier this year saw a study carried out by law firm True Solicitors reveal that Lancaster to be the UK’s best city for cyclists, and further highlighted Wiggles findings as London being at the bottom of the rankings.

The study analysed 39 cities across the UK and scored them from 0-5 on bicycle theft reports, cost of public transport, air quality, cycling statistics, and road traffic accidents.