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Home   Kent   News   Article

Big drop in people cycling to work across Kent as Census figures spark calls by Green party for more bike-friendly roads

08 April 2014
by Paul Francis

Fewer people are cycling to work in Kent than they did 10 years ago, according to census data.

The proportion of those regularly cycling to work in Kent has fallen by a fifth in a decade.

The figures have sparked a call by the Green party for more bike-friendly roads in Kent to encourage more people to use two wheels rather than four to travel to work.

The number of people regularly cycling to work Kent has dropped dramatically

The number of people regularly cycling to work Kent has dropped dramatically

Census data shows that in 2001, 13,830 people were cycling to work in the county - but by 2011, that figure had fallen to 13,041.

This means the proportion of people cycling to work across Kent has dropped from 2% to 1.6% in the same period - or a fifth.

The figures pre-date 2012, the year before Britain's Olympic successes and Bradley Wiggins becoming the first British winner of the Tour de France.

However, Kent was at the centre of Tour de France fever in August 2007, when the famous race passed through our county.

Cllr Martin Whybrow, Green Party county councillor for Hythe in Shepway, said: "The proportion of people cycling to work has fallen by a fifth over the past 10 years, from a previously paltry 2.0% to a pathetic 1.6% in Kent.

"This contrasts with rises in London of up to 7.6%. Furthermore, cycling to work has fallen in almost every area across Kent. It simply shows that Kent County Council has done nothing to promote one of the most sustainable forms of transport."

Cllr Martin Whybrow, KCC Green Party councillor

Cllr Martin Whybrow, KCC Green Party councillor

In all but two of the districts in the county, the figures indicate a decline - with only Dartford and Maidstone seeing no change in the percentage figures.

In Ashford, the number of those cycling to work fell from 2.7% of the population in 2001 to 2.5% in 2011. In Shepway, there was a fall of 0.3% to 1.8%.

The largest fall was in Thanet, where the proportion of cyclists fell from 3.2% to 2.5%, followed by Swale where there was a 0.6% fall to 2.2%.

More people cycle to work in Canterbury than any other district but even here, there was a all to 2.7% from 3.1%.

Sevenoaks has fewer people using bikes to get to work than any other district. In 2001, the figure stood at 0.9% of the population, but that slipped back to 0.7% of the population in 2011.

Kent was at the centre of Tour de France fever in August 2007

Kent was at the centre of Tour de France fever in August 2007

Kent County Council was asked to comment, but had not responded.

What do you think? Join the debate below.

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