Increase in traffic leaves people scared to cycle

Team Sky's Geriant Thomas leads the peleton past Cardiff Castle during stage eight of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain from  Worcester to Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 10, 2017. See PA story CYCLING Tour of Britain. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire

The number of people taking to two wheels and cycling has dropped, with traffic and road conditions blamed for a rise in perceived danger. Figures published by the Department for Transport show that nationwide, the average adult made 15 journeys by bike in 2016, compared to 17 ten years before.

The study found that almost 60 per cent of adults believe cycling on Britain's roads is too dangerous. However, it did show that while fewer journeys were undertaken, people were cycling further, with the average journey of 3.5 miles an improvement over the 3 miles of 2015.

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The government will soon launch a review of cycling safety that may bring in new laws. Among those expected are a minimum passing distance for cars overtaking bikes, and making the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory for all riders.

Campaigners said the government needs to do more to promote safe cycling and invest in streets, pointing towards the figures – which show that white men are far more likely to be bike users than any other group.

Roger Geffen, the policy director of Cycling UK, said: "We want to see more women, children and people of diverse backgrounds out cycling. Air pollution, congestion, physical inactivity all impose increasing costs on society. The country needs more people cycling and walking."

Jesse Norman, the transport minister, said: "Cycling and walking are good for your health and for the environment, and it is great to see that people are cycling longer distances.
"However, we know there is more to do, which is why we are making cycling and walking more accessible to everyone through our £1.2 billion cycling and walking strategy."

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