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Green Party says pathetic amount of people cycle to work in Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge and Malling

The Green Party believes the number of people cycling to work is pathetic and is calling on the Kent County Council to take urgent action.

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics last week show a 10 per cent drop in Tonbridge and Malling and six per cent in Sevenoaks.

In 2001 920 cycled to work in Tonbridge and Malling but ten years later just 830 people did.
During the same period the number of people in Sevenoaks doing this dropped from 481 to 451.

A six per cent increase however can be observed in Maidstone and cyclists in Tunbridge Wells increased by four per cent.

A cyclist at night. Copyright: Thinkstock
A cyclist at night. Copyright: Thinkstock

In the county town 914 people were taking their bikes to work in 2011 compared to 862 in 2001 and in Tunbridge Wells the figures rose from 616 to 643.

This rise however is slightly misleading.

An increase in population means the proportion of people cycling to work in Tunbridge Wells has dropped from 1.2 per cent to 1.1 per cent.

In Maidstone it remains 1.2 per cent, but this is a –0.1 per cent point change according to the government.

In Tonbridge and Malling only 1.4 per cent of people cycle to work, a 0.3 per cent drop, and in Sevenoaks 0.8 per cent cycle to work, a 0.1 per cent drop.

According to Martin Whybrow, a county councillor representative for Hythe, the proportion of people cycling to work across the county has fallen from two per cent to 1.6 per cent.

Cllr Martin Whybrow, KCC Green Party councillor
Cllr Martin Whybrow, KCC Green Party councillor

He said: “Cycling to work has fallen in every area across Kent which simply shows that Kent County Council has done nothing to promote one of the most sustainable forms of transport.

“With air pollution at dangerous levels in the county, including a smog this month which prompted warnings for people to stay indoors, real action is urgently needed to increase cycling across the county.”

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