Evaluation of the Cycling City and Towns and the Cycling Demonstration Towns programmes

We are presenting reports into the impact of the funded investment in cycling programmes; Cycling Cities and Towns and the Cycling Demonstration Towns. 

The programmes involved a mixture of capital investment (e.g. cycle lanes) and revenue investment (e.g. cycle training), tailored to each town.

All of the participating towns experienced an increase in cycling following the programme. These findings help strengthen the case for investment in cycling, and can inspire and encourage other towns and cities to plan and implement programmes that get more people on their bikes.

Cycling City and Towns programme

The Cycling City and Towns programme was a Department for Transport (DfT) funded programme of investment in cycling in 12 towns and cities from 2008-2011.

The aim of the programme was to explore the relationship between investment in cycling as part of a whole-town strategy, and the number of cyclists and frequency of cycling trips. The programme built on earlier experience in six Cycling Demonstration Towns which began receiving funding in 2005. 

Cycling Demonstration Towns

The Cycling Demonstration Towns follow-on programme included six towns that had received initial funding for cycling in 2005-2008 and subsequently in 2008-2011.

Cycling Demonstration Towns invested in measures to stimulate increased levels of cycling through combinations of physical infrastructure, promotion and other smart measures. The towns selected as Cycling Demonstration Towns were Aylesbury, Brighton and Hove, Darlington, Derby, Exeter and Lancaster with Morecambe. 

Findings

Sustrans, in partnership with Transport for Quality of Life, Cavill Associates and the University of the West of England conducted a monitoring study of the impact of both the Cycling Demonstration Towns (2008-2011) and Cycling City and Towns programmes as a single entity.

This work represents a significant contribution to understanding the impacts of investment in cycling in English towns and cities.

Results from the two programmes are very encouraging. Cycling trips increased across both programmes overall, and also individually in all 18 towns and cities.

From automatic count data, there was an overall 29% increase in the six Cycling Demonstration Towns (CDT) in five and a half years, ranging from 6% to 59%; and an overall increase of 24% in the 12 Cycling City and Towns (CCT) over three years, ranging from 9% to 62% across towns.

The overall annual rate of growth for the CDT programme was 5.3% and for the CCT programme 8.0%, comparable to rates of growth seen in international cities which have demonstrated sustained long-term commitment to cycling.

Reports

Summary of Outcomes

Summary of Outcomes of the Cycling Demonstration Towns and Cycling City and Towns Programmes

Cycling Demonstration Towns Programme

Part A: Introduction (CDT)
Part B: Data collection and analytical methodologies (CDT)
Part C: Overall findings (CDT)
Part D: Individual town results
1: Aylesbury
2: Brighton and Hove
3: Darlington
4: Derby
5: Exeter
6: Lancaster and Morecambe

Cycling City and Towns Programme

Part A: Introduction (CCT)
Part B: Data collection and analytical methodologies (CCT)
Part C: Overall findings (CCT) 
Part D: Individual town results
1: Blackpool
2: Cambridge
3: Chester
4: Colchester
5: Greater Bristol
6: Leighton-Linslade
7: Shrewsbury
8: Southend
9: Southport
10: Stoke-on-Trent
11: Woking
12: York

If you would like to discuss the material, please contact Dr Andy Cope, Sustrans Director of Insight.

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