top of page

Stats, facts and cycling data

In 2020 more people started cycling regularly in the UK and the gap between male and females participation reduced.

Evening in the Cotswolds_edited.jpg

*All data taken from the cycling uk website (July 2022)  This is an abridged version


How many people cycle and how often?

The following figures come from differently framed surveys, so it’s best not to use them to make comparisons between nations.

England (aged 5 and over)

Cycle more than once a week:

14% (pre-2020) / c7.4 million people

20% (2020) / c10.7 million

Occasionally each month:

10% (pre-2020) / c5.2 million people

little change in 2020

A few times/once or twice a year:

10% (pre-2020) / c5.2 million people

8% (2020, a drop probably because some were cycling more often)

Wales (16 and over)

5% every day / once, twice or several times a week (c135k people).

4% once or twice a month (c93k people)


Scotland (16 and over)

6% at least once (c265k people)

Northern Ireland (16 and over)

3% - 4.5% at least once a week

3% at least once every fortnight

< 1.5% once every four weeks


Who cycles most, men or women?

Males cycle more than females, but the gap in England narrowed somewhat in 2020.


Number of cycle trips a year:

Females – 9 (pre-2020)

Males – 24 (pre-2020)

Females – 13 (2020)

Males – 28 (2020)


Number of miles cycled a year:

Females – 23 (pre-2020)

Males – 89 (pre-2020)

           Females – 50 (2020)

Males – 127 (2020)


Wales (2019/20)

Usually travel to work by bicycle:

Females – 1%

Males – 2.4%


Scotland (aged 16 and over, 2019)

Cycled for transport:

Females – 3%

Males – 7%


Cycled for pleasure/to keep fit

Females – 4%

Males – 8%


Northern Ireland (16 and over, 2019/20)

Cycled in the last four weeks:

Females – 16%

Males – 31%


How do UK levels of cycling compare to those in other European countries?

Not well. Out of 28 countries in Europe:


The UK comes 22nd for ‘cycling modal share’ (2%). The Netherlands comes top with c.27%.

The UK comes 25th for the proportion of people using a privately owned bike or scooter (inc. electric) as their mode of transport on a typical day (2%). Again, The Netherlands comes top at 41%. (2019).


How safe is cycling?

Cycling is safer than many people think it is.

In ‘normal years’ (2015-2019, GB), over a distance equivalent to 1,000 times round the Earth at its widest point:


One cyclist is killed

33 are seriously injured

103 are slightly injured

The figures for 2020 are: 0.70 (killed); 21 (seriously injured); 59 (slightly injured).

There are around 10.4 million cycle trips for every cyclist fatality (9.4 in 2020).

The general risk of injury of any severity whilst cycling is just 0.045 per 1,000 hours of cycling (0.025 in 2020).

The risk of death per billion miles cycled has been trending downwards since 2013, as has the risk of being seriously or slightly injured.

Of course, every casualty is a casualty too many.

bottom of page