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London residents cycling to work doubles in 10 years

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Census analysis shows a changing picture for the daily commute

The latest 2011 Census data shows the number of London residents cycling to work has more than doubled in the last 10 years. People were most likely to cycle if they lived in urban areas, and men were more likely to cycle to work than women. Residents of Merthyr Tydfil were least likely to cycle to work whilst the residents most likely to cycle were in Cambridge. Overall, the share of working residents who cycle to work in England and Wales remained virtually unchanged in 2011 compared with 2001, at 2.8%.

Increase in cycling to work in major cities

The number of people aged 16 to 74 living in London who cycled to work more than doubled between 2001 and 2011, from 77,000 to 155,000. This was due to a 144% increase in cycling to work among residents of Inner London coupled with a 45% increase among residents of Outer London. There were substantial increases in many other large English and Welsh cities; the numbers of people cycling to work in Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield all increased by over 80% while in Cardiff there was a 65% increase.  

Overall, residents were twice as likely to cycle to work in 2011 if they lived in an urban area as opposed to a rural area. Cycling was most common in 2011 in Cambridge, where 290 out of every 1,000 working residents cycled to work.  It was least common in Merthyr Tydfil where just 3 out of every 1,000 working residents cycled to work. The increase in cycling observed within major cities was not replicated across all parts of the country. The numbers cycling to work actually declined in over half (202 out of 348) of local authorities across England and Wales over the 2001 to 2011 period.

The net effect for England and Wales overall was that the number of working residents cycling to work increased by 90,000 (13.9%) in 2011 compared with 2001.  However, there was also a large increase in the number of working residents in England and Wales over the same period (up 12.3%) so the share of working residents who cycled to work in England and Wales remained virtually unchanged at 2.8%.

 

Areas with the highest percentage increase of residents cycling to work, England and Wales, 2001 and 2011

Areas with the highest percentage increase of residents cycling to work, England and Wales, 2001 and 2011

Notes:

  1. Source: Census 2001 and 2011, Office for National Statistics

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Steep climb in London’s 30 to 34 year old cyclists

There was a sharp increase in the percentage of commuters in London in their early thirties cycling to work, rising 2.3 percentage points to 5.2% over the last 10 years; a similar rise occurred for those in their late twenties. The figure for cyclists in their early thirties elsewhere in England and Wales remained unchanged at 3.1% and reduced by 0.1 percentage points to 2.9% for those in their late twenties.

The percentage of people who cycled to work in London between 2001 and 2011 increased compared with the figures for the rest of England and Wales. The percentage of London residents who cycled to work increased across all age groups apart from those aged 16 to 19, whereas cycling to work only increased among the 45 to 49 age group in the rest of England and Wales.

In 2011, a higher proportion of 16 to 19 year old residents cycled to work (3.2%) in the rest of England and Wales than in London (2.2%). The only other age groups where the rest of England and Wales had a higher proportion of cycling commuters were the 60 to 64 and the 65 and over groups.

Percentage of residents cycling to work by age group, 2001 and 2011, England and Wales and London

Percentage of residents cycling to work by age group, 2001 and 2011, England and Wales and London

Notes:

  1. Source: Census 2001 and 2011, Office for National Statistics

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Where can I find out more about cycling to work statistics?

These statistics were analysed by the Local Economic and Social Analysis team, using the results of the 2011 Census. For more information about cycling to work figures, read the full article . If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d like to hear them. Please email us at: better.info@ons.gsi.gov.uk 

Categories: Travel and Transport, Roads, Public Transport, Other Modes of Transport, Transport in London, Labour Market, People in Work, Hours of Work
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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