Cycle Trends in Birmingham 2012

Birmingham City Council holds a number of sets of data measuring levels of cycling across the city, allowing analysis of overall levels of cycling and the types of journey being made.

Overall, there has been an increase in cycling in Birmingham since 2003
Data recorded by 8 automatic cycle counters indicates that: rea2012

  • Cycling has increased by 73% since 2003

  • Over recent years the growth has been greater. The daily count of cyclists increased by 11% per year from 2008 to 2011 (an overall 37% increase), compared to 7% per year before 2008.

  • The greatest numbers were counted on the popular Rea Valley route, with up to 500 cyclists per day.

Cycle count data shows different patterns of usage at different times of day.
At locations where cyclists are counted continuously:

  • weekday counts of cyclists increased on average by 11% per year, whilst weekend counts increased by 7% per year

  • on weekdays cycle flows tend to be greatest during peak hours and growth over time in the numbers of cyclists counted on weekdays is concentrated during peak hours – times of day when the majority of trips are for commuting

Levels of cycling to school in Birmingham are currently lower than those across England as a whole. Data from 2010 shows that:

  • the overall levels of pupils cycling to school in Birmingham remained at 0.4% between 2007 and 2010

  • This compares to 1% of pupils across England

  • 0.6% of pupils cycled to secondary school in Birmingham compared to 3% of pupils across England

However, where interventions are delivered to encourage and equip children with the skills to travel to school safely by bike, levels of cycling increase substantially. Bike It, Sustrans’ school cycling project, has engaged with 24 schools in Birmingham since 2008. Hands up surveys conducted to monitor Bike It in 19 of those schools show that the relative percentage increase in the proportion of children who cycle regularly to Bike It schools in Birmingham is greater than in Bike It schools across England as a whole. For schools engaged in Bike It in the 2010/11 academic year, the relative percentage change in pupils cycling regularly to school was 216% in Birmingham, compared to 81% for all Bike It schools across England

As cycling increased by 37% between 2008 and 2011, so have accidents involving cyclists, but at a lower rate.

  • All accidents involving cyclists rose by 14.3%, from 231 in 2008 to 264 in 2011

  • Serious accidents (requiring a hospital visit) rose by 21% from 37 in 2008 to 45 in 2011

  • Slight accidents (roadside treatment) rose by 11.8% from 194 in 2008 to 217 in 2011.

  • Cycling fatalities – apart from 2008 when there were none, there were 2 cycling fatalities a year from 2006 to 2011

Future monitoring

We are now monitoring numbers of cyclists in 43 locations which will enable us to produce a clearer picture in the future .This leaflet will be updated annually and will reflect the following outcomes.

  1. To increase the mode share of cycling overall, and particularly in relation to some key corridors within the city

  2. To increase the mode share of cycling for (1) trips to work, and (2) trips to school

  3. To increase the number of cycling trips recorded on specific facilities, and in some key corridors

  4. To increase the number of cycling trips recorded on routes to specific destinations

  5. To increase the volume of leisure cycling on some key routes

  6. To increase the proportion of people achieving specified thresholds for physical activity through cycling

  7. To decrease carbon emissions through reduced car kilometres that are attributable to modal shift in favour of cycling

  8. To increase the amount of employment in the local area attributable to the delivery of measures to support cycling

  9. Decrease congestion in key corridors and at key junctions through a modal switch to cycling

This data is based on Birmingham City Council report ‘Cycle Trends in Birmingham 2011’.


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