Fuel prices 'boosting cycle numbers' according to Southampton study

Fuel prices 'boosting cycle numbers' according to Southampton study

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High petrol prices are partly fuelling an increase in people using their bicycles, a survey has found.

Above: Southampton, awash with cyclists at a recent Sky Ride city event. Southampton is one of British Cycling's partner cities, working with the governing body to increase cycling opportunities of all kinds.

The research in Southampton found that a third of respondents had got on their bike because of the record high cost at the pumps. Two-thirds said they took to their bikes more frequently than they did three years ago, with health and enjoyment the main reasons.

The research conducted by the University of Southampton for Southampton City Council is one of the biggest of its kind in the UK with more than 1,300 people returning questionnaires and mapping their routes. The data will be used to develop a cycle strategy in the city.

Other major findings found that 73% were travelling to work when they used their bike. 80% spent less than 30 minutes on their bikes, with just over half of journeys less than three miles. More than 75% travelled by bike four days a week or more and 41% have had at least one accident or collision, most of which were with motor vehicles.

Cyclists highlighted "drivers not paying attention" as their main concern, and most thought more off-road cycle paths were important to increase safety.

Related: Cycle Commuting Guide - Southampton