Cycling is least popular mode of transport in UK, according to new research

A new poll has found the Brits are more likely to get in the car than cycle or use public transport

Lords have renewed called for licences for cyclists (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A new study has found cycling is the least popular mode of transport amongst Brits.

The survey of transport attitudes found only 40 per cent of people have a positive view of getting on the bike.

More people will be jumping in their cars than cycling or using public transport, according to the YouGov poll.

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But laziness does not seem to be the reason for cycling’s unpopularity, as the research found the most popular mode of transport is walking.

While 40 per cent of people have a positive attitude towards riding their bike, 49 per cent of the 1,737 respondents held the opposite view.

Attempts to boost cycling in London also appear to be failing to reach many, with Londoners less keen on travelling by bike than people elsewhere.

Just 34 per cent of people in the capital like the idea of cycling, compared to 40 per cent for the whole country.

The research also confirmed what we already know about women and cycling, with only 32 per cent having a favourable view of riding compared to 49 per cent of men.

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YouGov found that cycling’s unpopularity is probably not down to laziness, as walking was the most popular way of getting around in the poll.

Transport charity Sustrans have carried out their own research on attitudes towards cycling and found that increasing safety by offering segregated cycle routes is the best way to get more people on bikes.

Around 84 per cent have a positive view of getting around on foot, with 11 per cent still disliking the thought of walking for transport.

Unsurprisingly, public transport is substantially more popular in London.

Amongst Londoners, 63 per cent are more open to taking the bus compared with 47 per cent nationwide.

Those in the capital are also far less likely to jump in the car, with 44 per cent have a positive attitude to driving – that number is 73 per cent for the whole country.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.