Meet new people on the National Cycle Network

Meet new people on the National Cycle Network

Last year saw an extra 50 million journeys made on the National Cycle Network, a 7% increase on 2012, according to a report released by charity Sustrans today.

Overall there were 748 million journeys on the National Cycling Network in 2013. One in ten (over 80 million journeys) were by people aged 65 and over, with over 62 million journeys made by foot and 18.5 million made by bike.

Sustrans2The data shows that 57% of cyclists and 55% of pedestrians aged 65+ who use the National Cycle Network feel it helps them meet new people and:

  • 90% of cyclists and 83% of pedestrians report feeling happier
  • 93% of cyclists and 75% of pedestrians feel fitter
  • 77% of cyclists and 67% of pedestrians say it increases their levels of physical activity

Traffic-free walking and cycling routes generate ten times more than they cost in less than ten years – a much higher return on investment than other forms of transport.

Sustrans is calling on governments to recognise the economic benefits of cycling and walking and dedicate £10 per head per year to help turn the tide on rising levels of physical inactivity.

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans Chief Executive said: “One in ten users of the National Cycle Network is aged 65 and over, with the majority saying they feel happier and fitter as a result of using it.

Sustrans1“The Network is helping to reduce isolation with many older users saying it helps them meet new people. At a time when we know chronic loneliness is affecting millions in later life this is a cause for celebration.

“There is a demand for safe, convenient and welcoming walking and cycling routes from people of all ages but too many people still feel threatened by traffic danger on the roads.

“Walking and cycling has the potential to be a silver bullet for the UK’s health as well as delivering billions of pounds in economic benefits but we urgently need safer roads to make this happen.”


Main image credit: J Bewley/Sustrans
Image 2 & 3 credit: Chandra Prasad/Sustrans