Driving to work? Move over grandad

Under 40s shun the car commute in Bristol

Bristol City Council has produced a new report with some interesting findings about the shift in travel usage.

Echoing this week’s report that car use in declining in the UK (while the government is contrarily planning for car use to increase) the Bristol report is being touted as a ‘tipping point’ with how residents are choosing to move around the city. 

In short, commuting by car is no longer the norm for under 40s. Here are the stats: 

  • Driving to work is no longer the norm in Bristol for the under 40s (57% now use other modes like walking, cycling or public transport).
  • Cycling to work has almost doubled in 10 years (+94%)
  • 74% of residents who cycle to work are men
  • Women cycling to work has doubled from 2.3% to 4.6%
  • More people in Bristol now commute to work by bicycle or on foot than in any other Local Authority in England and Wales.

“This is fantastic news for the health of Bristol’s people and prosperity," said Ian Barrett, South West Director for Sustrans.

"Increasing numbers of people walking, cycling and catching buses means that Bristol can continue to grow at the same time as improving our environment by reducing the impacts of heavy traffic on our streets, our safety and our air quality.”

Sustrans added that research from the recent iConnect consortium report showed that people who live near new routes increase the amount of time spent walking and cycling by an average of 45 minutes per week, showing that when quality infrastructure is built, people will use it. According to the report, 44,000 people still commute by car for distances under three miles in Bristol, something that could be done on foot or by bicycle.

Barrett continued: “Lots more people are enjoying the benefits of cycling to work and we know that many more want to cycle, but are concerned about safety.

“Sustrans’ welcomes the new Cycle Strategy announced by the Council last week, which promises a £35m investment to make cycling safer and simpler. The more we invest the more we ensure that everyone from age 8-80 can confidently get around by bike as well as by walking and public transport”.

The Bristol City Council report was titled ‘2011 Census Topic Report, Who Cycles to Work?’

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