Study ranks Lancaster best cycling city in the UK, London and Manchester deemed least bike-friendly

A study carried out by law firm True Solicitors has found Lancaster to be the UK’s best city for cyclists, while London and Manchester came 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.

Lancaster scored top of the leader board for the most bike-friendly city in the UK, offering some of the best air quality and safest rounds out of the 39 cities studies. Between 2018-19 the city regarded one accident per 729 people.

Exeter was close behind in second place, scoring points for good air quality and cycling and walking statistics. According to the study, 21% of the city’s population regularly cycled more than once a week in 2018. Both Lancaster and Exeter were one of six locations in England selected to promote cycling as a mode of transport back in 2005.

London found itself at the opposite end of the scale with the study revealing it to be the worst city in the UK for cyclists, despite the Government spending £18 per head on cycling in the capital, compared

to just £7 per individual in the rest of England.

The study found London recorded some of the highest road accidents in Britain in the previous year, with only Birmingham documenting more. True Solicitors estimated there to be an accident for every one in 342 people, compared to the lowest rate in Cardiff (one in 1,296). Air pollution is also high in the capital with an Air Quality score on 63 recorded. Furthermore, bike thefts were recorded for one in every 411 people.

London also has the most expensive public transport in the UK. If people living there were to take up cycling, they could save up to £1,692 each year, according to the data.

Manchester came second-bottom of the rankings, scoring extremely low for air quality, with more pollution recorded in the city than anywhere else in the UK.

The study saw Birmingham take the title for the most dangerous roads, seeing 2,614 road traffic accidents in the past year (one for every 320 individuals). And this danger may be putting people off getting out on their bikes, with only 10% of Birmingham’s population stating they regularly cycle more than once per week.

Bradford was revealed to have the lowest rate of bicycle thefts in the country, with only one bike theft for every 1,934 people reported in the city. However, this may be due in part to the city seeing some of the lowest cycling statistics in the UK based on people cycling more than once per week, although numbers increased by 3.2% over the last year.

Oxford and Cambridge recorded the highest number of bike thefts, documenting one theft per 81 people and 1 in every 149 people respectively. However, in tandem with the previous point, the two cities also boast the largest proportion of people cycling once per week in the country (Oxford – 39.2%, Cambridge – 57.5%) which would inevitably increase the risk of bike theft.

The study can be read in more detail here.

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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