The Olympic heroics of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy have failed to inspire Sussex residents to get on their bikes.

More than half of districts in Sussex saw a drop in the number of residents cycling at least once a month last year according to new statistics from the Department for Transport.

Worthing, Mid Sussex and Wealden all saw the number of residents going for a monthly cycle drop by at least a third although the proportion of cyclists in Brighton and Hove increased by 3%.

Councils defended the figures, saying only a small part of the survey covered the post-Olympic period and said that only a small number of residents were questioned.

The statistics show that five of the 13 districts in Sussex had less than the national average of 15% of residents taking a bicycle ride of any description once a month.

Even Brighton and Hove lagged behind other areas in the country such as Oxford, the Isles of Scilly, Cambridge and York which all had around a third of residents saddling up.

The survey was carried out for a sample of 500 residents in each district and covered the period from October 2011 to October 2012.

Ian Davey, the chair of the council’s transport committee, said the local authority was “very pleased” with the continuing growth of cycling in the city.

'Small snapshot'

He added: “The survey only involved 520 local people, so is only a small snapshot compared to the census data we work with which shows we’re in the top 10% of local authorities for cycling to work.

“Changing people’s transport use is about evolution, not revolution.

“The increases we’re seeing in walking and cycling, combined with a reduction in levels of car ownership, mean we’re succeeding in making Brighton and Hove a more eco-friendly city.”

A Mid Sussex District Council spokesman said: “The vast majority of this study took place before the heroics of Bradley Wiggins and the rest of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.

“As a council we actively encourage our residents to participate in sport and we are looking to increase opportunities for leisure cycling, provide young people with a safe environment to learn to cycle and increase the amount cycle parking for our residents.”

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