CN: Cycle Blog

It has been an interesting week. Lovely cycling weather, although one day I was up to two pairs of gloves, three coats, and if I could have found my second bigger woolly hat I'd have had that on too.

However, the bit that was most interesting was when I was looking at the census data. It is always encouraging to look at how many people we actually have cycling in Cambridge.

The headline figure was 31.9%. That is people who live in Cambridge who typically use a bicycle to get to work. It doesn't include full time students, some of whom apparently also use a bicycle.

What was most suprising was that the number of journeys in Cambridge had grown over the last ten years. Ten thousand more journeys to work were made. Ok, that bit wasn't surprising.

What was really surprising that just three hundred and sixty six more people drove cars to work.

What about the other ten thousand people who got to work? Over half used a bicycle.

Half of all traffic growth in the city in the last ten years has been additional bicycle traffic.

The rest were on buses, trains, or on foot, and probably a couple of thousand of those recorded as using the train will have walked or cycled to the station.

We actually had fewer people sharing a car. So those cars on the road were even less efficient.

The bit that really is significant is that there are more people who go to work using their own leg power than use petrol or diesel power.

Self powered is now the majority. Two thirds of which are using bicycles, and one third using shanks' pony.

Also interesting this week was that often said assertion that as broadband is rolled out more people will work from home.


Over three hundred people FEWER worked from home in 2011 than in 2001.

My guess is that people like working in an office. Being sociable. Talking with people.

Perhaps Cambridge is a more sociable city. Perhaps that is why we have a stronger economy than other places?

Perhaps Cambridge is a better place because we have more people using more sociable modes of transport than other places that force employees to sit in metal boxes isolated in solitary confinement.

Jail or freedom – I'll take the freedom of the bicycle any day, even those days when it is ruddy cold outside.