Saturday 4 December 2010

"Build it and they will come"

Whilst reading David Hembrow's excellent blog concerning cycling Holland, I was genuinely astounded at this particular post concerning long distance cycle lane proposals.

I was impressed at the commitment to infrastructure, even for longer distances, but what really amazed me were the modal figures quote in the post. To quote :

In the Netherlands, 35% of all journeys under 7.5 km are already by bicycle. Also, 15% of journeys between 7.5 km and 15 km take place by bike. For all distances over 15 km, the numbers drop to just 3% of journeys. However, even for these longer distances that's still a larger percentage by bike than people make even of short journeys in many other countries.

Too right! The modal share in the Netherlands for cycling over 15km is 50% greater than the overall cycle modal share in greater London. And we are supposed to be in the grip of a cycling revolution! 

Interesting to note the observation that many comments on the news sites were  moaning that the long distance cycle paths were a waste of money and no-one apart from the "lycra louts" would use them - no-one in their right mind would use a cycle for these distances. Sound familiar? This is pretty much the response in the UK for any cycling infrastructure. Except presumably in the Netherlands the government ignores such remarks, builds the infrastructures and gets vindicated when it attracts more cyclists and increases modal share. Whereas in the UK these criticisms are taking as the reason why cycling will never be popular and so nothing is built that would increase that popularity.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree MrGrumpyCyclist - the figures aren't so much eye-opening, more like 'eye-popping' compared to anything quoted over here in terms of numbers of cyclists.