Cycling in the UK’s towns and cities can be a mixed experience. Some have invested millions to create safe cycling routes and maintain good air quality, while others lag behind. The government is keen to promote cycling as a green method of city transport, which is also great for health and fitness, and cycle-friendly routes can make a big difference.
To celebrate the recent International Bike Week, which ran from 6-12th June, life insurance group Forbes advisor decided to carry out a survey of the best and worst towns for cycling in the UK. The good news is, several of the largest cities, including Birmingham and London, came out close to the top of the list. Luton and Leicester were also in the top five.
Kevin Pratt, from Forbes Advisor, commented: "If you live in an area that has the spaces and facilities to enable you to get plenty of exercise, that's something to celebrate. But even if you aren't, you can hopefully find a safe and enjoyable walking, running or cycling route nearby that will help you stay fit and on top of your game."
To compile the ratings, Forbes assessed air quality data, climate data, and looked at the amount of cycling pathways and routes that were available for each area. Birkenhead in Merseyside came out bottom of the list, with just 8.10km of cycling routes available.
Many people are discovering the health benefits of switching to cycling for their daily commute to the office. A lightweight electric bike makes the journey even more efficient, with some extra pedal power at your fingertips if you need to get to that meeting on time, or live in a hilly area.
Cycling for just one journey per day can also lower your carbon footprint by 0.5 tonnes per year. The government backed Cycle to Work scheme allows people to purchase a bike or e-bike through their employer at a discounted rate.