Private Transport - Cycling

Private Transport - Cycling

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Monday, July 11, 2011

See also Active Travel

How much do people cycle?
In Scotland, cycling makes up a relatively small proportion of the journeys that we make traveling to work by bike.

  • 1.3% of journeys were made by bike in 20011, with 2% of commuters usually traveling to work by bike2.
  • According to the Sustrans Hands Up Survey , 3% of children in Scotland normally cycled to school in 2011.3

As well as a means of reaching a destination, people cycle for leisure purposes.

  • In 2011, adults living in Scotland made around 4 million visits to the outdoors where cycling or mountain biking was the main activity. On a further 29 million visits of cycling was included as an 'additional' activity. 4

What sort of journeys are made by bike?
Most bike journeys are short.

  • The average distance of a bike journey 2009/2010 was 3.6km with over 90% of the journeys being less than 8km. This compares with an average journey distance by all modes of transport of 10.6km.5

Unsurprisingly given the short distances involved, most bike journeys don't take a long time.

  • 87% of bike journeys in 2009/2010 lasted 30 minutes or less. 6

The most common purpose for cycling journeys is commuting.

  • Around 40% of cycling journeys are made for this purpose. 7

How many people have access to bikes?

  • 35% of households have one or more bikes that an adult can use. 8

Who Cycles?

  • 2.9% of men in employment cycle to work compared to 1.0% of woman in employment.9

Why don't people cycle

  • The most common reason people gave for not cycling to work was that they did not have a good bike. Beyond this, the top reasons were that it was too far to cycle or weather not good enough. 10

Cycle Safety

  • In 2011, 824 cyclists were injured in accidents reported to police, this included 7 fatalities.11
  • 50% of those responding to the SHS felt that a child walking or cycling on their own in their neighbourhood would be very or fairly safe. 12

Further Information

Transport Scotland / Scottish Government Statistics

Scottish Transport Statistics - Chapter 11 covers personal transport including cycling.

Transport and Travel in Scotland

SHS Transport - Local Area Analysis

National Travel Survey - Scottish results

Reported Road Casualties Scotland

Other Transport Scotland pages

Transport Scotland Cycling pages

Cycling Action Plan for Scotland

External Links

Cycling Scotland

Scottish Natural Heritage

Sustrans producers of the Hands Up survey of school children's travel to school


1. Travel Diary TABLE 2: MAIN MODE OF TRAVEL, 2001-2011
2. TATIS Table S3 Employed adults not working from home - usual method of travel to work - by mode
3. Sustrans Hands Up Scotland 2011 National Results Summary
4. SNH Scottish Recreation Survey, cycling fact sheet
5. Travel Diary 2009/10 TABLE 15: DISTANCE SUMMARY STATISTICS, 2009/2010
6. Travel Diary 2009/10 TABLE 16: DURATION OF JOURNEY, 2009/2010
7. Ad hoc analysis by Transport Scotland using combined SHS Travel Diary data for 1999-2011
8. TATIS 2011 Table S3 Households with cars and bicycles available for private use  Table 18 Households with cars and bicycles available for private use
9. TATIS 2011 Table S3 Employed adults not working from home - usual method of travel to work - by mode
10. TATIS 2011 Table 26 Reasons why do not cycle to work and why do not have a bicycle
11. Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2011 Table A.
12. Table 7.7: How safe it would be for children to walk or cycle to play areas on their own by Urban Rural Classification and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation