New data reveals importance of improving safety to encourage cycling

A new online study has revealed that improving safety is the biggest factor in encouraging cycling in some of the world’s major cities.

The study was commissioned for World Bike Day by VanMoof in partnership with YouGov, and data was collected from over 3,000 adults across London, Paris, Berlin, New York and Los Angeles.

43% of all people living in the five cities sampled said that feeling safer would encourage them to cycle more. This makes safety the strongest factor across all age groups for both men and women. More cycle lanes (34%) and less chance of bike theft (33%) were the next most important factors to encourage more cycling in each city.

34% of people across all cities surveyed said it’s more important to them that their city prioritises cyclists now than before COVID-19. Almost double the number of 18-34-year-olds (46%) think prioritising cyclists is important compared to those over 55 years of age (24%).

The study also found that 35% of 18-34-year-olds are more likely to make the switch to an e-bike for short journeys around all five cities since the impact of COVID-19. 45% of all Londoners said that feeling safer on the roads would encourage them to cycle more.

One in four (26%) Londoners would choose cycling generally over a car for short city journeys and that number rises to 33% among 25-34-year-olds. And 18% of people are more likely to choose an e-bike specifically for a short journey around London since the COVID-19 pandemic, with men (23%) marginally more likely than women to make the switch to electric bikes than women (14%).

Attitudes towards e-bike use have undergone the biggest change in New York and Los Angeles, with 35% of New Yorkers and 32% of LA residents more likely to choose an e-bike for short journeys since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 64% of 25-34-year-olds in New York say they would now be more likely to choose an e-bike for their city journeys.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for e-bikes, for bike commuting, and for cycling generally,” said Ties Carlier, co-founder of VanMoof. “What this data shows us is that the waves of cyclists breaking onto the roads of our biggest global cities need to feel much safer to sustain their new habits. A greater share of road space and better infrastructure will allow people healthier, greener, and cleaner ways to get around our cities.”

Taco Carlier, co-founder of VanMoof, added: “This data points to our cities having to evolve a more human-first and cycle-friendly future. Contemporary culture is rejecting the car-centric highways of the past. The improvements for cyclists in many of these cities in the last few years is welcome. But it’s clear now that people want a far more comprehensive mobility mix to be a cornerstone of any liveable city, and not just an optional extra in a society built for, and ruled by, cars.”

Read the June issue of BikeBiz below:


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