Strava reveals the UK cities where most people commute by bike

46.2 million metric tons of CO2 were offset by Strava users cycling to work last year

Bikes at Bristol Temple Meads station (Getty)
(Image credit: Moment Editorial/Getty Images)

Bristol, Newcastle and Southampton have been ranked the top cycling commuter cities in the UK, following research by Strava.

The cycling and running social media platform, which boasts over 46 million members worldwide, analysed millions of commutes to reveal the location of the most popular cycle routes, as well as areas that could benefit from investment in local infrastructure.

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Bristol has the most cycling commuters per 1,000 people at 28.9, followed by Newcastle with 20.8 and Southampton with 16.4.

Leeds took fourth with 14.6 with Cardiff narrowly behind in fifth with 14.5.

London ranked sixth, with 11.9, while Manchester and Liverpool finished bottom with only a lowly 7.7 and 6.6 per 1,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Birmingham saw the biggest year-on-year growth of 10.8%.

The 35-55 age bracket proved to be the most active commuter group, followed by the 20-35 bracket.

London, unsurprisingly, has the greatest number of cyclist commuters in total, followed by Manchester, Bristol, Leeds and then Glasgow.

The research was compiled by Strava Metro 3.0, an arm of the company that allows city planners to analyse and plan for active commuting and improving transport infrastructure. The volume of data makes it the largest aggregated active transportation dataset in the world.

Globally, commuting by bike increased by 42% last year, according to Strava's data.

The commuting activities of just the commuters logging their journeys represented a carbon offset of 46.2 million metric tons of CO2 in the last year. That's enough to cover the annual output of Norway or Hong Kong.

Transport for London, a long-standing partner of Strava Metro, have renewed their contract for four more years, putting the platform at the centre of its work to improve the capital's transport infrastructure.

The research shows a link between investment in cycling infrastructure and how many people within a certain city are commuting by bike.

Bristol, which topped the rankings, received an £11.4m grant as the inaugural Cycling City, whereas Liverpool, which ranked bottom, have only just announced initiatives aimed at improving cycling infrastructure.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.