How many people ride bikes in Cambridge?

The quick answer is that tens of thousands of people use their bikes in Cambridge each day, and it is growing.

Between the 2001 and 2011 censuses there was an increase of almost 5,000 in the number of people commuting by cycle, a 37% improvement. Part of that is down to increases in journeys and population generally, but it is striking that there was almost no increase in car journeys in the same period. See our press release and newsletter article about the 2011 census figures.

We now know that more than 50% of people use a bike at least once a week, and 58% sometime every month. We believe a very large number of housholds have a bike, but compared to many other places around the UK, in Cambridge they actually use them, and Cambridge has the highest level of cycling of any town in the UK, beating Oxford and York by a significant margin.

The County Council does counts of cyclists in the spring and autumn.

In the spring, which is out of University term, this counts cyclists crossing the River Cam and is some 20,000 per day.

In the autumn a count is taken of cyclists entering or leaving the city from surrounding villages and that is around 7,000 per day.

This somewhat underestimates the numbers using cycles each day on other roads; some of the main roads have 4,000+ cyclists per day.

Full details of official figures are available in the County Council’s ‘Traffic Monitoring Report’ produced each year:

The inner cordon figures quoted are a vast underestimate of cyclists in the City Centre, as many use routes not counted as they are not shared with motor traffic.