Cycling to work doubles in 10 years


  • Author: Richard Prothero and Statistics Views
  • Date: 27 March 2014
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

The Office for National Statistics has this week released new figures that reveal that the option of cycling of work has doubled in 10 years, particularly in London.

In 2011, 741,000 working residents aged 16 to 74 cycled to work in England and Wales. This was an increase of 90,000 compared with 2001. As a proportion of working residents, the share cycling to work was unchanged at 2.8%.

Between 2001 and 2011 the number of people living in London that cycled to work more than doubled from 77,000 in 2001 to 155,000 in 2011. There were also substantial increases in other cities including Brighton (increasing by 109% between 2001 and 2011), Bristol (94%), Manchester (83%), Newcastle (81%) and Sheffield (80%).

thumbnail image: Cycling to work doubles in 10 years

In the majority of local authorities in England and Wales (202 out of 348), the numbers of working residents cycling to work declined between 2001 and 2011.

Overall cycling to work rates were highest for:

- Male workers
- Workers living in urban areas
- Workers aged 30 to 34
- Workers in elementary and professional occupations

Areas with the most and least cycling 

In Cambridge, 29% of working residents cycled to work, making it the local authority with the highest rate of cycling to work. The next highest rate was in Oxford (17%), followed by the Isles of Scilly and Hackney at 14%.

There are 31 local authorities where over 5% of working residents cycled to work. The proportion was greater than 10% in six of these local authorities.

There were 29 local authorities where less than 1% of working residents cycled to work. The four local authorities with the lowest rates were all in Wales with Merthyr Tydfil the lowest with 0.3% of working residents cycling to work in 2011.

Who cycles to work?

In 2011, urban working residents (3.2%) were twice as likely to cycle to work as rural working residents (1.6%).

Males were more likely to cycle to work than females (3.9% of male workers compared with 1.6% of female workers).

Cycling to work was most common among those aged 30 to 34 with 3.5% of workers in this age group cycling to work. Up to 60 years of age, the rate of cycling to work was above 2% for all age groups.

Cycling was most common among those working in elementary and professional occupations. It was least common amongst managers, directors and senior officials.

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