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"Sport England Active People survey reveals sharp increase in cycling"

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  1. chdot
    Admin

    Cycling in this country has never been in better health,” British Cycling Chief Executive Ian Drake said today following the publication of Sport England’s Active People results, which show that 161,000 more people are cycling now than six months ago.

    "

    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/about/article/bc20120622-Sport-England-Active-People-survey-reveals-sharp-increase-in-cycling-participation-0

    Posted 1 year ago #
  2. crowriver
    Member

    161,000 more people are cycling now than six months ago.

    Er...possibly because 6 months ago it was the middle of winter and all the fairweather cyclists took the bus/car instead or didn't go on that 100 mile sportive?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  3. crowriver
    Member

    Don't wish to place a massive downer on this upbeat message, but I think David Hembrow says it well in this article:

    Cycling is "booming" in the UK ?
    For as long as I can remember, cyclists and government alike in the UK have claimed that cycling is on the up. The expression often used is to say that it is "booming". However, this is wishful thinking.

    http://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2010/04/cycling-is-booming-in-uk.html

    Posted 1 year ago #
  4. wee folding bike
    Member

    There is a graph on the linked web page which does show a slow increase but even then there was a drop in the winter of '11. They have footered with the axis to make the increase look good.

    http://www.sportengland.org/research/active_people_survey/active_people_survey_6/idoc.ashx?docid=8e60393e-8161-43f3-a87b-7f8a625a244f&version=1

    Posted 1 year ago #
  5. Morningsider
    Member

    "Cycling in this country has never been in better health"

    Distance cycled in the UK in 1949: 14.7bn miles
    Distance cycled in the UK in 2010: 3.0bn miles

    Numbers not really my strong point, but...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  6. kaputnik
    Member

    Symptomatic at the "English" Government's approach to cycling that "statistics" being reported by a sports quango rather than the transport ministry.

    Same attitude as Scotland really...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  7. crowriver
    Member

    Oh but it's okay though because the quota has been exceeded for this year:

    "Key Messages
    - Cycling is currently exceeding its Sport England growth target.
    - Once a week participation has increased for women for the first time in 2 years."
    (p.3 of the report posted above by wfb)

    So that's all right then. Case solved, mission accomplished, everyone back to the car park for a celebratory drive past the Olympic velodrome!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  8. Instography
    Member

    Oooh, My colleagues in London do this survey. I'll get the data (maybe).

    To be fair, it's reported by a sports quango because it's commissioned by that sports quango.

    And David Hembrow's trips per person per year is a thoroughly useless, bogus, misleading way of showing 'not booming'. Let's say every cyclist currently cycling cycled three times per week (150 times per year). And let's say the number of people cycling doubles one year but these new cyclists only cycle twice per week (100 times per year). Well, by his measure, this boom in cycling would be reflected in a fall in the number of trips per person per year. The boom is measured by a slump according to Mr Hembrow (who is generally sensible but no statistician).

    Posted 1 year ago #
  9. chdot
    Admin

    "by his measure, this boom in cycling would be reflected in a fall in the number of trips per person per year"

    This of course 'dis/proves' that well known phrase about statistics and lies!

    This thread shows that cyclists have un/healthy cynicism about statistics/PR.

    Or is that a high proportion of the small number of people who post on CCE or an unrepresentative or statistically insIgnificant sample...

    It's slightly unfortunate that there is the '6 months ago' benchmark, which allows for 'seasonal questions'.

    I think it's highly likely that more people (in the UK) are riding bikes than a year ago. There is plenty of evidence (not least anecdotally from people on here) that people who start as leisure - or even 'sport' cyclists - often go on to become commuters or 'everyday cyclists'. Though, as Morningsider points out, the mileage covered is still a fraction of what it once was - and presumably the number of people is much smaller too.

    As for transport v sport, at least it registers in both places. Still needs to be a higher 'health' priority - and of course people working in these three fields need to co-operate more (and education and planning and...)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  10. gembo
    Member

    Bike week numbers had bike use booming judging by bike racks and no spaces. Friday from golden rule to Balerno canal was most empty

    I think there has been an increase in the purchasing of bicycles since mountain biking kick started the end of the post war slump mirrored by the rise of the motor car.

    I also see a great deal of road and mountain bikers as where i stay is on a main route for both tribes

    In defence of the quango - we have achieved a modest increase in use over several years

    Can't see that grabbing headlines?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  11. Instography
    Member

    Scepticism is OK. Actually it should be mandatory since no one ever does research for the sake of it.

    As ever, with this one, it's better to bypass the press release and go straight to the source. Right at the top of Sport England's commentary is the sentence, " Once a week participation in Cycling has risen sharply following a surprisingly low figure 6 months ago."

    Ignoring the unnecessary capitalisation of Cycling, like it was a person or a country, the six month surge fades away to become recovery from a downward blip six months ago. Still, the trend shows participation in cycling increasing.

    Modest increases are OK. It's possibly the level of increase that if we had had it in Scotland for the past few years we'd maybe stand a chance of having 10% of journeys made by bike in 2020.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  12. crowriver
    Member

    Look at what the survey is measuring though: "Participation Trend (Once a week, 30 Minutes, Moderate Intensity)".

    So if someone drags their dusty full-sus BSO out of the shed of a weekend and pootles around the local shared use obstacle course for 30 minutes before giving up, that's part of the increase in participation in cycling.

    I prefer this graph, showing the miles travelled by bicycle since 1949.

    Maybe a bit disheartening, but it shows the scale of the decline and how far there is to go before we can talk of meaningful increases in cycling.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  13. crowriver
    Member

    It has to be said too that the Sport England survey shows rises in participation since 2008 in four English regions, and declines in the other four. Basically the south and Yorkshire demonstrate increases, everywhere else is in decline.

    Also interesting are the demographic profiles: cycling continues to decline amongst 16-19 year olds, with the biggest increases amongst those over 45. Whatever the reasons may be for this pattern, it's a bit worrying if "Children are the Future of cycling".

    Posted 1 year ago #
  14. chdot
    Admin

    "graph, showing the miles travelled by bicycle since 1949"

    Very interesting - where's it from?

    The quotes are interesting too - politicians finding positive things to say, in spite of, apparently, the evidence!

    Mini boom in 1977.

    Back to cyclist numbers/miles: I think I'd rather have a 100 new people doing 10 miles per week than 10 doing 100 - but the stats don't seem to show either is happening.

    Does that mean that booms in London and Edinburgh are mirrored by declines in most other places or inadequate methods of surveying?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  15. crowriver
    Member

    I can't help but notice that the largest participation in cycling is amongst people born before 1977, and presumably those who cycled as children during the late 1970s/early 1980s mini-boom in cycling. Participation in cycling amongst those under 35 for the past 4 years is frankly, poor: less than half that of those over 35.

    One could interpret this divide as mirroring that between the cycling mini-boom generation and the 'great car economy' one that followed in the late 1980s/1990s. Those over 35s are predominantly the MAMILs of yore (plus a smattering of OAPILs), who may always have cycled or cycled as young people and want to relive some of that. The under 35s are the rump of cyclists left trailing in the wake of their motorised peers.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  16. Morningsider
    Member

    Here's an interesting stat (just throwing this in here - no real link to anything) - the total distance cycled in Denmark fell by 24% between 1990 and 2010.

    Details from: http://www.statbank.dk/pkm1

    Danes still, on average, cycle more often and cover a larger total distance than the average Scot. However, it would seem they are not completely immune to the lure of the car. I'd be genuinely interested to know why this is happening, particularly as Denmark is always held up to be the ideal in cycling circles.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  17. crowriver
    Member

    Yes, interesting. During the same period motor vehicle miles travelled increased by 15%. Buses and trains also saw rises, particularly trains (30%). Presumably this is the explanation?

    Posted 1 year ago #
  18. sallyhinch
    Member

    I think Copenhagen is not Denmark, just as London is not England and Edinburgh is not Scotland. What you see on the blogs is a bit of a partial picture of the country as a whole...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  19. Instography
    Member

    I think if you want to measure progress in participation levels, it's better to set a minimum benchmark and track the percentage of adults who meet that minimum requirement. It means that any increase is more people and not more mileage from the same people. It doesn't stop people doing more than the minimum but it won't count as progress. In that sense it's much more demanding than miles ridden.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  20. sallyhinch
    Member

    True - TfL's own research a couple of years ago found that most of the increase in cycling in London probably came from existing cyclists cycling more often, with new cyclists only serving to replace those who'd given up or moved away. Dutch participation rates in cycling are even more impressive than their modal share - I forget the figure but I think it's something like 90% have cycled in the past week...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  21. Roibeard
    Member

    @chdot - Very interesting - where's it from?

    At War With The Motorist - credited to Joe Dunckley.

    I've no idea why the graphic was on a Blogspot server, when the blog itself is on Wordpress, so it's always possible that it isn't actually his...

    Robert

    Posted 1 year ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    So - 'leisure' cyclists are now cycling to work so there seem to be more people cycling?

    I don't want to believe this...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    Not looking good -

    "

    As was pointed out on the London Transport Data blog, cycling did indeed “boom” in Central London — where those MPs spent half of their time — from the extremely low ebb of the early 1970s to the dizzy heights of, er, one in thirty commuter journeys at the turn of the century. But it carried on plummeting in the suburbs as traffic and big roads continued to grow, cutting Outer London off from zone 1′s employment — the latter largely cancelling out the former in the city-wide stats.

    "

    From Roibeard's link.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  24. Instography
    Member

    @chdot
    I'm not sure what figures you're talking about when you say " 'leisure' cyclists are now cycling to work so there seem to be more people cycling?". That wouldn't affect the Sport England data. In that data more cycling only comes from more cyclists.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  25. chdot
    Admin

    "
    I'm not sure what figures you're talking about when you say " 'leisure' cyclists are now cycling to work so there seem to be more people cycling?".
    "

    I'm not - just my interpretation (not saying direct correlation) of Sally saying "probably came from existing cyclists cycling more often".

    I'm using the word "leisure" loosely!

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. Instography
    Member

    Ah, didn't see that. I wonder if Sallly has a source for that TfL analysis. Just on a hunch, it doesn't seem very plausible to me.

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. sallyhinch
    Member

    It's from TfL's Analysis of Cycling Potential which admittedly is looking at 2001-8, before the Boris bikes and the 'superhighways' (and more importantly fare hikes and recession). Page 44:

    "Evidence suggests that the growth in cycle travel between 2001 and 2008 was largely caused by
    cyclists increasing their cycle trip-making. There is no evidence of a net increase in the number of
    cyclists overall, although this disguises a level of „churn‟, so that some people stop cycling whilst
    others start. LTDS showed an increase of only 3 per cent in the number of people who ever cycle
    between 2005/6 and 2008/9 but an increase of nearly 50 per cent in the proportion of cyclists who
    cycled frequently."

    Haven't looked at the underlying statistics myself though. I would say that if you go out of areas like inner London, Hackney and Richmond, cycling still feels as much like a minority activity as it does beyond London, even now.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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