Evaluation of the Cycling City and Towns Programme: Qualitative Research with Residents

Publication date: 
August 2012

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This report presents findings from qualitative research undertaken with residents of the Cycling City and Towns, during the programme period. It explores their cycling behaviour and how they responded to the investment in cycling in their local areas. By setting cycling decisions in the context of individual and family lives, and also the wider environment, the research identifies:

  • the key triggers for changes in how people choose to travel, and
  • the contextual factors which support or constrain cycling at those points – including the role of cycling schemes and interventions.

This provides new insights on cycling behavioural change for decision makers and researchers in transport and other sectors.


Of particular interest is this observation:

Cycling infrastructure and facilities: residents tended to have noticed new cycling infrastructure in their town (both on- and off-road) and valued the improved cycling experience that resulted. Overall, infrastructure appeared to be highly salient to residents’ attitudes towards and experiences of cycling, with different views expressed amongst different groups (notably regular and non-regular cyclists). It also had an impact on social/cultural and journey perception issues (with visible investment in cycling presenting an image of cycling as a supported, feasible and popular option).

Investing in infrastructure not only makes cycling both actually and visibly safer, it also sends a very important message that "the authorities" consider cycling as a mode of transport that is worthy of investment.


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