Cycling rates in Reading fail to rise

4 April 2014

Cycling rates in Reading fail to rise

The percentage of cyclists in Reading has not increased over the last ten years, despite government and council initiatives.

Whilst the number of people cycling to work in Reading has increased, due to population growth, the percentage of people cycling to work in Reading has shown no increase at all in the ten years between 2001 and 2011, newly released census data has revealed. [1]

In 2001 4.1% (3,028) of Reading commuters used a bike to get to work and ten years later in 2011, the figure remains at 4.1% (3,252).

However in some parts of the South East, such as Brighton and Oxford, the number of cyclists increased. In Brighton the number of cycling commuters more than doubled. whilst in Oxford the proportion of people cycling to work rose by a significant 22%.[2] These figures show a great increase in cycling rates in certain areas, however in many regions the level of cyclists is declining.

The biggest drop in the number of people cycling to work was in Rushmoor, Hampshire, which saw a 30% decrease in commuter cycling. Other areas with a significant decrease in the proportion of people cycling to work included Milton Keynes, Windsor, Slough and Canterbury.

Driving is still the most popular way to get to work in South East England, with 39% of people getting behind the wheel to commute to work.

Reading Green Party councillor Jamie Whitham has said:

"I cycle to work every day up the Wokingham road and this is one example of an area in Reading which could do with some attention. As well as traffic islands squeezing cyclists and cars together along this stretch of road, it's difficult to access the advanced stop lines at The Three Tuns crossroads."

"In general, more priority should be given to improving Reading's fragmented cycle network, calming traffic with a town wide 20 mph zone and providing more cycle parking."

Green MEP Keith Taylor said:

"At a time when we should be seeing more cyclists on the roads we've seen a serious lack of investment from many councils, and central Government. The feeble effort made by the last two Governments to promote cycling is shown in these disappointing figures.

"Cycling is good for our health, good for the environment and should be promoted. It's time that the Government puts its money where its mouth is and diverts the millions of pounds destined for road building into making our towns and cities safe for cyclists."'


Notes for the Editor

For more information please contact Rob White on 07985 923938 or 0118 9667183.

1) ONS data is available here:
2) A full break down of cycling data for South East England is available here:
3) Dirty and Dangerous: The case against road building in South East England

Printed and promoted by Robert White, 69 Coventry Road, Reading, RG1 3ND. Both on behalf of Reading Green Party.

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