Cycle routes 'would boost bike use'

A third of those who do not cycle would be encouraged to do so if there were safer bike routes, according to a survey by road safety charity Brake.

The poll, which questioned 800 adults, revealed that 71% of people make sure they never cycle on roads, while 59% never cycle at all.

It also found that 34% of the non-cyclists would take to two wheels for journeys between home and local amenities if there were connecting cycle paths and trails.

Brake is now calling on the Government to provide more traffic-free and segregated cycle paths, as well as widespread 20mph limits to inspire more people to cycle without the fear of being involved in an accident.

Brake said that in 2009, cyclists made up just 0.5% of traffic but accounted for 5% of road deaths and 11% of serious injuries.

It added that while overall road casualties had reduced, cyclist deaths and injuries had not.

Brake campaigns director Julie Townsend said: "Cycling is an enjoyable, sustainable and healthy way of getting around and Brake wants to encourage more people to get on their bikes.

"However, it is vital that the Government is committed to making cycling as safe as possible and reducing the unacceptable number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries that occur each year."

She added: "This research shows that if we want more people to cycle, we need to invest in safe cycle routes and schemes that protect cyclists. The message is clear: let's encourage cycling by providing more traffic-free routes and other measures such as 20mph limits to enable people to get on their bikes in much greater safety."

Copyright © Press Association 2011