More women are using National Cycle Network, says Sustrans

Journeys by women on the National Cycle Network are up 13% year on year, with women making 40% of all journeys on the Network.

More women and commuters are using the National Cycle Network as a means of getting around everyday.

The latest annual usage statistics show that 420 million journeys were made in 2010 on the National Cycle Network, of which 204 million were on foot and 216million were by bike.

Journeys by women were up 13 percent from the year before with women making 40 percent of all journeys on the Network.

Of the 359 million trips made by adults, 25 percent were commuting and work related, increasing the number of journeys by 10 percent over 2009.

Sustrans said that with today’s petrol costs of around £1.35 a litre, if these commuter journeys had been made by car they would cost over £46m pounds in fuel costs.

If each of the 420 million journeys made on the Network replaced a car trip, the potential carbon dioxide saving was nearly 657,000 tonnes in 2010, Sustrans estimates. Nearly three million people used the Network in 2010 and two million of those saying they are more physically active because of the Network.  The total health benefits to people using the Network in 2010 is valued at nearly £400,000,000.

When asked, 84 percent of Network users felt safe on the Network and 66 percent felt they saved money by using it. Leisure trips made up 45 percent of journeys and 6 percent were journeys making the school run. 7 percent of all trips were people who were new or returning to cycling, and older generations made more journeys with only 9 percent of journeys made by people aged 16 to 24 whereas 27 percent were made by people over 55.

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive, said:

“It is very encouraging to see more women using the Network and clearly with petrol prices at new highs, it is being chosen as a valid alternative way to make those everyday journeys like commuting to work or doing the school run.

“Investing in walking and cycling may not be as exciting or headline-grabbing as building electric cars or stretching cable cars across the Thames, but unlocking their potential, as an obvious choice for more people every day, is the future of local transport and a more active population.”

He added: “It is vital that government, through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, invests in high quality walking and cycling routes, cycle training and projects that encourage and help people to leave their car at home, especially for those local journeys that make up 67 per cent of all trips.”

The new Sustrans iPhone app goes live in the App Store later today.

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