How much could cycling increase in England?
Posted on in Cycles News
A new tool maps the potential increase in bike journeys based on different scenarios, from flatter cycle routes to adopting e-bikes.
New research has revealed that given the right cycling conditions, cycling levels could be much higher than they are now across England.
The Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT) is a freely available interactive planning support tool to provide an evidence base to inform investment in cycling. It takes current cycling levels (based on census data from the 2011 census and Cyclestreets journey planner) and visualises the potential for commuter cycling take-up under different scenarios.
The scenarios the tool looks at are; Government Targets, Gender Equality, Go Dutch and E-bikes.
The Government Target scenario is based on the assumption that England reaches its target of doubling cycle commuting - the Department for Transport's current aim. The tool identifies where those extra trips might take place, based on how long and hilly commutes are in each area.
The Gender Equality scenario calculates how cycling levels would change nationwide if women were to cycle to work as much as men.
Go Dutch shows what would happen if England reached average Dutch commuter cycling levels, where nearly one in five people would cycle to work - around six times as many as now.
E-bikes looks at the potential for mass electric bike ownership to facilitate longer and hillier trips, based on data about their use in the Netherlands and Switzerland, where it's more than one in four who commute via this mode of transport.
Whilst the figures are speculative, it's interesting to see just how much these four scenarios alone could change the future of cycling in England.