Friday 27 August 2010

Cycling to school plummets in Scotland

Yet more evidence that as long as Britain’s cycling organisations continue to embrace and promote the philosophy of vehicular cycling, cycling is going nowhere. At best you will achieve a small rise in commuter cycling by hardcore cyclists, who will mostly be male, will ride alone, and be aged 25-45.

Scottish Government figures published this week showed the proportion of people cycling increased by just 0.1 per cent last year to 2.4 per cent, against 1.7 per cent in 1999.

Overall, only about 1-2 per cent of Scots cycle, although Edinburgh leads the way at 6 per cent, with 4 per cent in Aberdeen and 2 per cent in Glasgow, Dundee and Inverness.

This is well behind much of Europe, whose leaders include 55 per cent of people cycling in Groningen in the Netherlands, and 30 per cent in Copenhagen. Even in the UK, cycling rates used to be far higher, with 15 per cent of people in the saddle in the 1950s.

Cycling to school in Scotland is also in decline, the new figures show, from 1.5 per cent in 2008 to 1 per cent last year.