Number of people who cycle regularly in Huntingdonshire is on the increase, figures show

Cycling is increasing in Huntingdonshire.

Cycling is increasing in Huntingdonshire. - Credit: Archant

One in six people in Huntingdonshire cycle at least once a week, new figures show.

The Department for Transport has just released the results of an annual survey, which reveals how often people cycle in England.

In Huntingdonshire, there were 575 respondents, who answered questions about their travel habits between November 2017 and November 2018.

Of those, 16 per cent said they cycled at least once a week. This is above the England average of 11 per cent.

Cycling is becoming more popular in Huntingdonshire. The survey suggested 38 per cent more people are cycling weekly than in 2016-17.

Out of the respondents, nine per cent were keen cyclists and used their bike at least three times a week.

The survey found cycling for leisure was more popular than for travel, with 12 per cent of people cycling at least once a week for fun, while eight per cent commuted by bike.

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Nationally, the number of cyclists has slightly fallen over the last year.

Xavier Brice, chief executive of Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, said: "Much more needs to be done overall to increase cycling across the nation.

"Evidence shows that when dedicated space for riding a cycle is provided, an increase in cycling levels will follow.

"In Bristol, a city where 75-miles of cycle routes are physically separated from vehicles, 25 per cent of residents cycle at least once a week.

"The Government has a responsibility to make active travel easier, safer, and more appealing than driving for short journeys, and this can only be achieved through large scale investment in walking and cycling infrastructure."

The charity Cycling UK appealed to ministers to tackle the perception that cycling is a dangerous activity.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns, said: "Despite the Government recognising the need to encourage and enable more people to cycle regularly for health and environmental reasons, unfortunately the proportion of trips made by bike has remained largely static for 20 years.

"When asked what stops people from cycling more often, the common response is that it's too dangerous. The reality is that cycling is not a dangerous activity, but it's this perception which needs to be tackled.

"To do this, we need to build cycling routes separated from motor traffic, safe for a 12 year old to ride along. That requires at least a doubling of current spending on cycling and walking, which must be a priority for the Department for Transport in the forthcoming spending review."

Huntingdonshire has a higher proportion of cyclists than the East of England does on average.

Across the country, Cambridge has the highest percentage of people who cycle at least once a week, 57 per cent. Havering, in London, has the lowest, with only three per cent.