Roads seen as “too dangerous” for cycling

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Cycling Scotland research finds potential cyclists are discouraged by Scotland’s busy streets.

13th January 2020 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Scotland’s roads are still seen as too dangerous for cycling by many people, a survey has revealed.

Cycling Scotland’s latest research found unsafe roads were cited as the main barrier to people using bikes, with 63% of people in Scotland saying roads were too busy to safely cycle on.

Parents were especially concerned about safety, with 28% saying they thought roads were “extremely unsafe” for children – the lowest possible rating. Just 3% thought Scotland’s roads were “extremely safe”.

Although eight in ten Scots agreed that it would be better for the environment if more people cycled, 64% claimed cycling was not a “viable” form of transport for them.

Most people in Scotland were found to have positive attitudes towards cycling, saying that it improves health and wellbeing (92%), and that Scotland would be a better place if more people used bikes (65%).

In 2017, three-quarters of people who didn’t currently cycle said they were very unlikely to cycle in the future. This response reduced to two-thirds in 2019. 

In addition, high numbers of children continue to ride their bikes, with 61% of kids cycling weekly.

However, despite the benefits of cycling, 44% of Scots polled said they had no interest in reducing their car use and almost three-quarters said they would rather use their car than any other form of transport.

Keith Irving, chief executive of Cycling Scotland, said: “This research is important as it provides a snapshot of how attitudes towards cycling are changing and helps inform where to direct our efforts.

“It’s encouraging to see the environmental agenda influencing transport choices and people saying how cycling could help to shape a greener, cleaner Scotland. But, that said, there is a lot of work still to be done.”

The charity conducts a national poll every two years to gauge attitudes towards cycling in Scotland. More than 1,000 people around the country were polled for the latest survey.