Brighton can boast low commute by car

The Argus: Councillor Ian Davey with other Brighton and Hove cyclists Councillor Ian Davey with other Brighton and Hove cyclists

Just  one in four Brighton and Hove residents use a car to get to work.

Census data has revealed the city has the third lowest proportion of people commuting by car outside of London.

Just Cambridge, Oxford and the Isles of Scilly have a smaller percentage, with one in five using a car in the famous university cities.

The 2011 census data, released yesterday (February 13), paints a picture of how the nation travels to work.

Brighton and Hove is in the top 15% of local authorities for public transport, with 8.8% of people getting the bus to work and 6.5% using the train.

We also have the fifth highest percentage of those who commute by foot in the whole country.

Just over 12.9% of residents walk to work. The Office for National Statistics results take into account those between 16 and 74 – including those currently unemployed.

But 3% of residents use a bike to get to work – despite millions being spent on initiatives and infrastructure.

In comparison, nearly 17.5% of Cambridge commuters get on their bike leading campaigners to slam the council for “disproportionate spending” on those with two wheels.

Money spent

Motoring lobbyist Steve Percy, who sits on the city’s transport partnership, said: “I’m not against cyclists using the roads but there is a disproportionate amount of spending on them.

“I travel along Old Shoreham Road pretty much every day. Sometimes I can go the whole length without seeing a cyclist.”

Tony Green, from city cycling group Bricycles, said that he wasn’t “too surprised” by the figures.

He added: “I thought the figure for cyclists may have been a couple of percent higher but I’m not too surprised.

“I think what the Green administration is doing at the moment is quite good.”

Success elsewhere

Experts put Cambridge’s success down to vast number of safe bike racks, considerate motorists and cycling practices and habits passed down through generations.

Councillor Ian Davey, chair of the transport committee, said: “Our investment in schemes such as training, awareness and travel planning, along with dedicated cycle lanes on the seafront, The Drive and Old Shoreham Road, have all helped cycling levels increase quite dramatically.

“The work currently being carried out in Lewes Road and the introduction of 20mph speed limits should help increase cycling levels further, and help people feel confident that cycling is a safe and practical choice to get around the city.”

Best way to travel

The more I think about it the harder it is to see why I wouldn’t cycle to work.

Buses are far too expensive for the service while a car now costs a small fortune to run.

Instead I can travel to my own timetable, get fit and healthy and more often than not arrive where I want to be quicker than on any alternative mode of transport.

Even the pitfalls of wild weather and forcing myself onto the saddle every morning are not enough to dissuade me.

I genuinely love it and would be bereft without my bike.

Reporter Peter Truman

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Comments (11)

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3:11pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

At one level the 3% for cycling is pitiful, but obviously we're never going to match the Cambridge figure as Brighton, with it's hills, is not a city in which cycling can ever play a major role as a commuting method. Sadly this fact hasn't quite filtered through some very thick skulls yet. And I walk and use public transport for work before one of the usual suspects comes on and moans about stupid car drivers.
At one level the 3% for cycling is pitiful, but obviously we're never going to match the Cambridge figure as Brighton, with it's hills, is not a city in which cycling can ever play a major role as a commuting method. Sadly this fact hasn't quite filtered through some very thick skulls yet. And I walk and use public transport for work before one of the usual suspects comes on and moans about stupid car drivers. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit

3:44pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Grumpy Old Cyclist says...

Looking at all the huge number of obese and unfit people in Brighton it is not the hills that keep the percentage of cycling at 3% it is the life style choices people make.
Looking at all the huge number of obese and unfit people in Brighton it is not the hills that keep the percentage of cycling at 3% it is the life style choices people make. Grumpy Old Cyclist

5:59pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

Grumpy Old Cyclist wrote:
Looking at all the huge number of obese and unfit people in Brighton it is not the hills that keep the percentage of cycling at 3% it is the life style choices people make.
Ahhh! ..... QED
[quote][p][bold]Grumpy Old Cyclist[/bold] wrote: Looking at all the huge number of obese and unfit people in Brighton it is not the hills that keep the percentage of cycling at 3% it is the life style choices people make.[/p][/quote]Ahhh! ..... QED Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit

7:02pm Thu 14 Feb 13

ruberducker says...

and a bike is really good and a great way to go shopping and take the kids to school
and a bike is really good and a great way to go shopping and take the kids to school ruberducker

7:31pm Thu 14 Feb 13

greenhousedani says...

ruberducker wrote:
and a bike is really good and a great way to go shopping and take the kids to school
Here's a lovely little film showing how easy and convenient it is to do shopping by bike in a country where they actually do invest in safe facilities for cycling. https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=dFc61Ku1
P_M&feature=youtube_
gdata_player

In the Netherlands, there's no such thing as a cyclist - people use bikes to get around as a matter of course, because it's quick, safe, cheap and fun. Levels of obesity in the Netherlands are way lower than here - all that investment in high quality cycle networks has paid off.
[quote][p][bold]ruberducker[/bold] wrote: and a bike is really good and a great way to go shopping and take the kids to school[/p][/quote]Here's a lovely little film showing how easy and convenient it is to do shopping by bike in a country where they actually do invest in safe facilities for cycling. https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=dFc61Ku1 P_M&feature=youtube_ gdata_player In the Netherlands, there's no such thing as a cyclist - people use bikes to get around as a matter of course, because it's quick, safe, cheap and fun. Levels of obesity in the Netherlands are way lower than here - all that investment in high quality cycle networks has paid off. greenhousedani

8:11pm Thu 14 Feb 13

kopjules says...

Pretty soon there wont be any roads left to drive on in Brighton......they are all turning into cycle lanes....
Pretty soon there wont be any roads left to drive on in Brighton......they are all turning into cycle lanes.... kopjules

9:03pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Mr Sworld says...

The roads have always been used by cyclists, a long time before the invention of the internal combustion engine. So nothings changed for the cyclist.

Yes, Brighton has hills. Modern bikes have 'gears' however to cope with them.

Mind you, Hove is pretty flat, so you could cycle there on your non-geared bike. Single speed bike are all the rage nowadays too, so you'll fit right in.
The roads have always been used by cyclists, a long time before the invention of the internal combustion engine. So nothings changed for the cyclist. Yes, Brighton has hills. Modern bikes have 'gears' however to cope with them. Mind you, Hove is pretty flat, so you could cycle there on your non-geared bike. Single speed bike are all the rage nowadays too, so you'll fit right in. Mr Sworld

11:47am Fri 15 Feb 13

Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit says...

greenhousedani wrote:
ruberducker wrote:
and a bike is really good and a great way to go shopping and take the kids to school
Here's a lovely little film showing how easy and convenient it is to do shopping by bike in a country where they actually do invest in safe facilities for cycling. https://www.youtube.

com/watch?v=dFc61Ku1

P_M&feature=yout
ube_
gdata_player

In the Netherlands, there's no such thing as a cyclist - people use bikes to get around as a matter of course, because it's quick, safe, cheap and fun. Levels of obesity in the Netherlands are way lower than here - all that investment in high quality cycle networks has paid off.
The Netherlands is flat. Brighton isn't. That 'inconvenient truth' is the reason most Brighton residents don't cycle. No amount of pious waffling about lifestyles is going to change this simple geological fact.

I live up at Fiveways and whilst I can walk up and down Ditchling Road (with an occasional rest) I can't cycle it - even on a modern bike Mr Sworld.
[quote][p][bold]greenhousedani[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ruberducker[/bold] wrote: and a bike is really good and a great way to go shopping and take the kids to school[/p][/quote]Here's a lovely little film showing how easy and convenient it is to do shopping by bike in a country where they actually do invest in safe facilities for cycling. https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=dFc61Ku1 P_M&feature=yout ube_ gdata_player In the Netherlands, there's no such thing as a cyclist - people use bikes to get around as a matter of course, because it's quick, safe, cheap and fun. Levels of obesity in the Netherlands are way lower than here - all that investment in high quality cycle networks has paid off.[/p][/quote]The Netherlands is flat. Brighton isn't. That 'inconvenient truth' is the reason most Brighton residents don't cycle. No amount of pious waffling about lifestyles is going to change this simple geological fact. I live up at Fiveways and whilst I can walk up and down Ditchling Road (with an occasional rest) I can't cycle it - even on a modern bike Mr Sworld. Jimmy Stewart's Imaginary Rabbit

4:41pm Fri 15 Feb 13

Bien2 says...

So the vast majority of people use the car, 1 in 4 is 25%. Then 12.9% walk, 8.8% get the bus, 6.5% the train and 3% cycle.

Why do the council not realise that spending millions on cyclists (many of whom just use the pavement) is a false economy. The roads in Brighton are atrocious, the traffic situation is unbearable and the parking is frankly ridiculous - yet a quarter of people still use their cars. Instead of spending money on the 3%, why don't they sort the roads out so that there are less jams, which would reduce the emissions from stationery cars and enable more people from outside the city to use local businesses.

The 20mph thing is a joke too, I commute into Brighton and on a school holiday I might get up to 15mph, but the rest of the time I'm lucky to hit 10mph all the way in to the centre every morning.

Like many, the train is too expensive and far away from where I live to make it a realistic option. I have no choice other than 1) drive into Brighton or 2) move my business out of Brighton.

The more this council messes up the infrastructure of the city, the more people are taking option 2, and the city is clearly in decline because of it.
So the vast majority of people use the car, 1 in 4 is 25%. Then 12.9% walk, 8.8% get the bus, 6.5% the train and 3% cycle. Why do the council not realise that spending millions on cyclists (many of whom just use the pavement) is a false economy. The roads in Brighton are atrocious, the traffic situation is unbearable and the parking is frankly ridiculous - yet a quarter of people still use their cars. Instead of spending money on the 3%, why don't they sort the roads out so that there are less jams, which would reduce the emissions from stationery cars and enable more people from outside the city to use local businesses. The 20mph thing is a joke too, I commute into Brighton and on a school holiday I might get up to 15mph, but the rest of the time I'm lucky to hit 10mph all the way in to the centre every morning. Like many, the train is too expensive and far away from where I live to make it a realistic option. I have no choice other than 1) drive into Brighton or 2) move my business out of Brighton. The more this council messes up the infrastructure of the city, the more people are taking option 2, and the city is clearly in decline because of it. Bien2

12:20pm Tue 19 Feb 13

jma1183 says...

All the figures are wrong, they are from the 2001 census. For instance, cycling has nearly doubled since then! Anyone can accesss these figures and see for themselves from the ons website. It is a shame that the Argus got this wrong and did not celebrate the good news!
All the figures are wrong, they are from the 2001 census. For instance, cycling has nearly doubled since then! Anyone can accesss these figures and see for themselves from the ons website. It is a shame that the Argus got this wrong and did not celebrate the good news! jma1183

12:24pm Tue 19 Feb 13

jma1183 says...

1 in 20 people now cycle and this has grown higher than any authority outside london, and should be something the city should be proud of!
1 in 20 people now cycle and this has grown higher than any authority outside london, and should be something the city should be proud of! jma1183

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