Three quarters (75%) of people think more money should be invested in cycling, according to research commissioned by travel charity Sustrans.
A survey of 11,000 people across seven UK cities found that on average people want £26 to be spent per person on cycling each year compared to the UK average of around £2.
According Sustrans – which commissioned the Bike Life Survey – even 71% of people who never ride a bike think funding should be increased, the study found. This rises to 87% among regular riders.
Two-thirds (66%) believe more cycling would make their area a better place to live and work.
Funding levels for the new Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy in England have not been announced by the Government, but Sustrans policy director Jason Torrance called for it to be “ambitious” in order to guarantee long-term investment in active travel.
He went on: “The message from the public couldn’t be clearer. There’s a desire to cycle more, but that a lack of safe places to ride bikes is off-putting.
“People want governments to spend more, and say that they would cycle more if it were safer. Now governments must close this gap between current spending and public demand.
“Physical inactivity, congestion and declining air quality cost our economy billions. Government must act to secure a greater share of current transport investment for cycling and walking.”
The survey was carried out in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester and Newcastle.
The report is based on the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, which began in 1996. This research, which includes surveys about the population’s perception of cycling infrastructure, have persuaded Danish policy makers to turn the capital into one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities.
Sustrans hopes the same can be achieved in the UK following its own investigation.