Saturday, 16 February 2008

Cycling declines with age

Use of a bicycle is most common among men aged 17-29, but even they make only 4% of their journeys by bicycle. Men in their forties make 2% of journeys by bicycle; and those over 50 make just over 1%. Most cycle trips are for commuting (38%) or leisure (31%).


  • 87% of adults agree that everyone should be encouraged to cycle to help their health
  • 79% of adults agree that everyone should be encouraged to cycle to help the environment
  • 73% of adults agree that everyone should be encouraged to cycle to help ease congestion

Over the last 10 years the number of trips by bicycle has declined by around 15%, and the average distance travelled by bicycle has fallen by more than 10%, but both have levelled off recently.


  • 31% of car users say they would reduce their car use if there were more cycle tracks away from roads
  • 30% of car users say they would reduce their car use if there were better parking facilities for cycles
  • 27% of car users say they would reduce their car use if there were more cycle lanes on roads

From Department for Transport Statistics

(When they say that cycling declines with age, I think they mean in quantity, not quality).

2 comments:

Martin said...

It would be good to see some of the factors teased out. Do older people cycle less as they age or is there a new generation who cycle more? Is it affected by the road conditions when learning? Is it affected by work and commuting changes? I suspect the introduction of parental choice in primary schools has moved many children to schools too far from home to cycle and this may cut future cycle use.

gom1 said...

I can't see a way of teasing out the changing behaviour by age from the published figures, though DfT may have them internally.

The national travel survey doesn't seem to examine factors affecting all this, but perhaps there are other surveys. I will keep a look out.