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Lack of cycling infrastructure leaves Brits dependent on cars

A lack of local infrastructure is preventing the public from cycling, locking them into car ownership, a new report has found.

People across the UK are spending an average of 13% of their gross income on maintaining their cars, according to cycling campaign group Bike Is Best.

Spending over 10% of income is classed as ‘transport poverty’ the group has said in a new study which raises awareness of the financial difficulties facing car owners.

The study surveyed a group of 2,000 people to represent the views of the UK and found that 71% of Brits expected they would always own a car despite the high costs, with 47% believing there was no reasonable alternative.

cars on road

However, a large percentage are on board with active travel. 88% reporting that cycling would improve their health and quality of life, but just under half said they couldn’t afford to own a bike.

Scott Purchas, a spokesperson for Bike Is Best, said: ‘As the UK endures the cost of living crisis, there’s no escaping the fact that our entrenched car culture is locking people in to spending significant portions of their income on transport.

‘UK motorists with some form of car finance spend 19% of their total annual gross income on their car. New investment in infrastructure will give people genuine choice about how they travel, which is incredibly important at this difficult time.

‘Modes of transport that are efficient, sustainable and don’t break the bank should win out – not least because half the population see the bike or e-bike as an alternative to the car or public transport.’

Research from charity Sustrans last year found that people on low incomes are supportive of increased investment in active travel, with 58% and 50% calling for funding for walking and cycling respectively. The sector is also a significant asset to the UK economy, generating £36.5 billion in 2021.

Photo by Nabeel Syed

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