What people think: explaining urban cycling


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This presentation, by Ann Jopson from ITS Leeds, reports on the policy-relevant results of a large survey about peoples' attitudes towards cycling.

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  • 4 case study cities in the UK: Leeds, Lancaster, Leicester and Worcester. These slides report results of a large scale questionnaire survey of residents in the case study cities, and please be aware the questionnaires were aimed at everybody, not just existing cyclists. Note also that questions were about everyday utility trips that people make in their local area, e.g., to local shops, school/childcare, work if nearby.Slides with more detail on questionnaire and respondents are hidden in case they are needed.
  • Half = 7,500
  • Potentially some bias in response to the cycling questionnaire in that it attracted people with an active interest in cycling.
  • Fitness and saving moneycorrespond with the top reasons given for cycling, but given the low levels of cycling relative to the percentages agreeing they should, there is a strong message here that for many individuals believing one should do x does not translate into x being done. For those who do plan to cycle though, personal norms are significant to forming that intention.
  • It is worth noting the %ages here are notably higher than the equivalent percentages for walking. For walking the views of others can be a barrier for approximately 10-15%, whilst the need to give a lift is a barrier for approximately ¼ to 1/3.
  • Only those who travel with children answered these questions, and those with children of different ages answered dif questions.Agree means agree or strongly agree(66% would not allow an older child who can cycle to make a journey by bike on their own).
  • Top 3 trip chains(accounting for 56% of trips chains) all centre on commuting, shopping and school/day care. Trip chains including these journey purposes are notable barriers to cycling (and walking). These journey purposes also feature in the next 5 categories of trip chain along with visiting friends and/or family, personal business, leisure etc.TOTAL trip chains including one or more of commute to work, shops and school/day care run is 90%!These trip chains are essential in many households, especially those with 2 working parents to fit everything in – especially getting everybody to school and work on time.
  • For cycling the level of explanation is lower in Leeds than in the other case study cities, which have results closer to those for Lanc.Leeds was the biggest city we surveyed, meaning distance to the city centre and other destinations and therefore number of destinations within cycling distance was different. Traffic volume may also be different, but heavy traffic and large vehicles were a notable barrier to cycling elsewhere, particularly Lancaster. Differences may also relate to differences in infrastructure and facilities for cycling, or crime rates influencing bicycle theft etc etc. Such factors may also hold true in other larger cities.It is notable that attitudes are not directly significant in explanations, instead they are mediated by the other significant independent variables. There is a correlation between attitudes and the other independent variables, but note the eigenvalues indicate there is no serious multicollinearity problem. The same would most likely be true of other independent variables not proven to be directly significant. This is supported by factor analysis which demonstrates that the attitude items spread over 4 different factors, but the items making up other independent variables always load onto one factor, e.g., all the personal norm items load onto the same factor with a related group of attitude items.
  • Infrastructure will provide opportunity and positively influence control factors by making it easier to successfully cycle. Successfully would include arriving safely and on time for example.Marketing and promotion will jointly act on social norms, by normalising cycling. Actions that make cycling easier (e.g., allowing more flexible working to reduce the time pressure that leads to car use, and allow people to cycle out of congested peak hours, just getting to work at 945 instead of 930 could make a difference) will act on control factors as well, and as they allow more people to be seen out and about cycling, this will help with normalisation.Promotion activities should also align cycling with personal norms about cycling.Exactly how these things are done should be decided in light of local contexts. For example the Lancaster ethnographies suggested that reducing the conflict between cars and cyclists is key, whereas the Leeds ethnographies suggested measures to improve personal security, especially after dark, and especially in the winter when it can be dark by 4pm would be worthwhile.
  • What people think: explaining urban cycling

    1. 1. Institute for Transport Studies FACULTY OF ENVIRONMENT What people think: explaining urban cycling Dr Ann Jopson (a.f.jopson@its.leeds.ac.uk) Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds METRO 3rd December 2013
    2. 2. Results from case study surveys: outline of presentation • Why people cycle – the reasons people gave • Barriers to cycling – the barriers people identified – Including the influence of others, especially children • The biggest factors explaining intentions to cycle and actual cycling • Policy conclusions
    3. 3. Why people do/do not cycle • 25% cycle once a week or more – Top 3 reasons for cycling (the cake!) • Health, fitness and wellbeing (including that of children) • Save money • Preferred means of transport • 50% never cycle – Top 3 reasons for NOT cycling • Not safe • No bike (storage for it and kit at home + cost can be barriers) • [Bad] weather (is it always that bad?)
    4. 4. Personal norms and cycling • 72% (strongly) agree they should cycle to be environmentally friendly (the icing on the cake!) • 71% (strongly) agree they should cycle to be healthy • 69% (strongly) agree they should cycle to save money
    5. 5. Barriers to cycling: the influence of others • Respondents sometimes or often unable to cycle because a significant other thinks they … – … will be involved in an accident – 32% – … will be attacked - 23% • Respondents sometimes or often unable to cycle because they need to drive to give a lift to … – … a child – 53% – … an older person – 38% (we often think of child escort, but in the context of an aging society…)
    6. 6. Cycling and children • Often do not cycle as travelling with child(ren)… – …74% agree they would not feel comfortable taking child(ren) in a trailer, child-seat or trailer-bike – …50% agree they would not feel comfortable with child(ren) riding their own bike (even with them accompanying the child) – …36% strongly agree or agree it would be too far for child(ren) to cycle • 39% make journeys by bike to take children for a ride
    7. 7. Barriers to cycling: trip chaining • 60% trip chain once a week or more • The need to trip chain prevents cycling for all or some of the trip chains made for 82% • The journeys most often combined in a trip chain are: – Commute to work + shops (30% of trip chains) – Commute to work + school/day care run (18%) – Shops + personal business (PB; 8%) (TOTAL: 56%) – These journey purposes also feature in the next 5 categories of trip chain, accounting for a further 34% of trip chains (TOTAL: 90% of trip chains include these journeys).
    8. 8. Explaining cycling in Leeds • Leeds cycling – 48% of intention to make cycle trips (or not) in local area explained… – …by control factors [safety], personal norms and social norms (in that order) – 51% of behaviour (number of cycle journeys per week) explained… – …by intentions and control factors (in that order) • Similar results in other cities – But explained greater % of intentions and behaviour
    9. 9. Measures to facilitate cycling need to: • Provide infrastructure such that people have the opportunity to successfully (inc’ safely and quickly) make everyday journeys by bike – Segregated cycle lanes especially important to facilitate cycling – Cyclists have the right to use the road like other users, but for many potential cyclists having their own space in which they feel safe was more important than exercising rights. • Market cycling such that it becomes a normal way of getting around – Increase flexible working/working at home to reduce time pressure and need to drive children to … to be at work by 9/930am – Demonstrate that cycling is safe (accidents and personal security) such that views of significant others are not a barrier to cycling • Secure cycle storage is part of ensuring personal security – the bike will be there to get you home • And segregated cycle lanes again.
    10. 10. Measures to facilitate cycling need to: • Promote: – The relevance of cycling to health, fitness and wellbeing, and saving money • But note safety will need to come first for many potential cyclists! – How enjoyable cycling can be • Those who cycle often derive additional utility from a cycling journey over and above that derived from the destination because the act of cycling is enjoyable, relaxing, de-stressing… – The ease with which local amenities can be accessed (and the existence of said amenities) • Many people walked simply because it was the easiest way of accessing local amenities, this could be true for cycling as well with more cycle routes to local amenities and cycle stands at the destination.
    11. 11. Thank you for listening! Any questions?