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26/05/2011 // INFO 2 Comments

Commuters take to National Cycle Network



The National Cycle Network continues to be a great resource for cyclists who use the cycle routes for both commuting and leisure.

The latest annual usage statistics from sustainable transport charity Sustrans show that 420m journeys were made in 2010 on the Network. Of that 420m, 204m were on foot and 216m were by bike.

Of all trips made by adults (359m), 25% were commuting and work related, increasing the number of journeys by 10% from 2009 and highlighting the National Cycle Network’s role as an everyday transport option.

Leisure trips made up 45% of journeys and 6% were journeys making the school run. Seven per cent of all trips were people who were new or returning to cycling, and older generations made more journeys with only 9% of journeys made by people aged 16 to 24 whereas 27% were made by people over 55.

Sustrans also found that encouragingly that journeys by women were up 13% from the year before with women making 40% of all journeys on the Network.


Users of the network felt safe on the Network with 66% feeling that they saved money by using it. But there are other benefits to using the Network.

If each of the 420m journeys made on it replaced a car trip, the potential carbon dioxide saving was nearly 657,000 tonnes in 2010.

Nearly 3m people used the Network in 2010 and 2m of those said they were more physically active because of the Network.  The total health benefits to people using the Network in 2010 is valued at nearly £400,000,000, according to Sustrans.

Investment can bring returns

Commenting on the latest usage statistics, Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive,  said that while investing in walking and cycling may not be as exciting or headline-grabbing as some transport schemes unlocking their potential was the future of local transport and a more active population.

“It is vital that government, through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, invests in high quality walking and cycling routes, cycle training and projects that encourage and help people to leave their car at home, especially for those local journeys that make up 67% of all trips.”

The National Cycle Network now stretches to over 13,000 miles across the UK and Sustrans is continuing to expand the Network by working with local authorities to create more local links, urban routes and traffic free paths.

National Cycle Network app

Sustrans recently launched The complete National Cycle Network app for the iPhone platform. The app gives access to over 25,000 miles of walking and cycling routes across the UK. It can be downloaded from the iTunes store

See also

Sustrans launches cycle network iPhone app

British Cycling aims to make cycling more of a Breeze for women

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

2 comments [leave one]
Jonomc May 31, 2011 at 11:53 am

Sadly the way Government is run, many departments operate in Silos. This means that although there maybe saving on health and less accidents from proper routes, this will have no impact on other departments as these statistics are not part of their KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). Then when as stated in the article the results are less tangible and have to be derived (or estimated) there will be no specific funding set aside.
There in lies the problem of Big Governement and lack of lateral thinking (this is often frowned upon in Government).


James - Going Going Bike June 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm

@jonomc can this ever change? I can’t see any move away from “Big Government” and, as you rightly say, there is an absence of joined up thinking in many policies.


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