New report shows support in Liverpool City Region to improve cycling on roads and reduce cars

Seven out of 10 (69%) residents in Liverpool City Region would support building more cycle tracks physically separated from traffic and pedestrians, even if it would mean less room for other road traffic, according to findings from the first Bike Life report for the city region.

The Bike Life report, which is published by the charity Sustrans with Liverpool City Region, is the UK’s largest assessment of cycling in 14 cities. It includes an independent survey of 1,491 adult residents in the city region, aged 16 and over, on their travel habits and satisfaction. There is also data on the health, economic and environmental benefits of cycling in each city.

As UK cities take action to meet climate targets the report clearly indicates public support in Liverpool City Region for measures to reduce motor vehicle use. Nearly two thirds (64%) of those surveyed agreed that restricting through-traffic on local residential streets would make their area a better place to live and work, while 63% thought streets outside schools should be closed to cars during drop off and pick up times.

Six out of 10 residents (61%) in the city region supported more investment in cycling, compared to 45% for driving. If the financial proceeds were used to help fund public transport, walking and cycling services, 59% support the idea of charging more polluting vehicles (including private cars) entering city centres.

Many residents are less likely to cycle regularly, for example women and disabled people. However, all groups want cycling safety to be improved. Almost three quarters (74%) of residents in the city region said that safety for cycling needs to be improved. This rises to 77% for disabled people.

The report also revealed:

  • Cycling trips across Liverpool City Region saved 18,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions last year. Cycling took 29,000 cars off the regions roads each day.

  • Whilst the majority of residents never cycle (70%), 30% would like to start.

  • Half of residents agree that too many people are driving in their neighbourhood.

  • 59% of residents support charging more polluting vehicles entering the city centre.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for Liverpool City region said:

“I’m greatly encouraged to see such overwhelming public support for building safer cycle routes across our city region.

“Last autumn I called for a cycling and walking revolution in our city region, as a key part of our efforts to get people out of their cars and on to healthier, more environmentally friendly forms of transport.

“It’s absolutely clear that to enable people to cycle more we need to make cycling a safer option. That’s why we are working with Simon O’Brien, our Cycling and Walking Commissioner, and investing as a city region in creating a 600km cycling and walking network, that will help people get on their bikes with confidence that they will be safe in doing so.”

“Supporting more people to cycle is vital to tackling the climate emergency, improving our air quality and helping people to be more active, with all the benefits that brings for our physical and mental wellbeing.”

Rosslyn Colderley, North of England Director for Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity said:

“UK cities and towns like Liverpool City Region face huge challenges, including the climate crisis, congestion and air pollution. At the root of these problems is the fact that transport in our cities and towns have been largely designed for cars. The Bike Life report clearly demonstrates public support to turn away from car-centric planning and make it easier for people to choose to cycle, walk and take public transport.

“Liverpool City region already has ambitious plans to reduce car trips and make it more convenient for people to cycle and walk. Our report shows that residents back these plans and want more investment in cycling infrastructure particularly bicycle lanes separated from traffic.”

Simon O’Brien, Cycling and Walking Commissioner for Liverpool City Region said:

“The importance of the first Liverpool City Region Bike Life report cannot be overstated. It does not highlight what people who already ride around our streets want. Far more importantly it gives solid evidence why large numbers of people would but don’t ride as part of everyday life.

“If we are to truly take on the enormous challenges of the Climate Emergency, obesity epidemic, air pollution, congestion, mental health and overall quality of life issues then this document bolsters both the political and financial will to make the bike a major contributor to our transport network throughout the region.

“We must act now if we are to continue to compete as a major player on the national and international stage and not lose ground to other forward-thinking conurbations when it comes to attracting investment and people to the Liverpool City Region. Bike Life can be an immensely powerful enabler of such urgently required action.”

To read the full report visit the Sustrans website 

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