Cycling in Northern Ireland 2019/20, has been published today

Date published: 04 February 2021

The ‘Cycling in Northern Ireland 2019/20’ report is now available. This report, produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), presents findings from the 2019/20 Continuous Household Survey (CHS).

Statistical press release

The publication is available on the ASRB website at:

Key Points

Attitudes towards cycling

  • When asked to describe their attitudes to cycling;
  • 3% described themselves as ‘strong and fearless’,
  • 14% of respondents were ‘enthused and confident’,
  • 16% said they were ‘interested, but concerned’.
  • Around two thirds (67%) of respondents considered themselves to be in ‘No way, no how’ group.

(Each of the statements can be associated to a general category of cyclists taken from the ‘Four Types of Cyclists’ typology developed by the Portland Office of Transportation).

  • A higher proportion of male respondents said they were ‘strong and fearless’ (5%) and ‘enthused and confident’ (20%) when it comes to cycling, compared with female respondents (1% and 7%, respectively).
  • Conversely, a higher proportion of female respondents (73%) said ‘no way, no how’ compared with 62% of male respondents.

Bicycle Access

  • In 2019/20, almost a third (32%) of respondents had access to a bicycle, down from 36% in 2017/18 and around the same as 2016/17 (32%).
  • Bicycle access was highest among those aged 35-49 (43%) and 16-24 (40%) when compared to all other age groups. Access to a bicyle was lowest among those aged 65 and over (13%). 
  • Overall, male respondents (37%) were more likely to have access to a bicycle compared with female respondents (27%).
  • Access to a bicycle was highest among respondents living in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council (41%), and lowest among respondents from Derry and Strabane District Council (22%).

Cycled in the last 4 weeks

  • In 2019/20, a quarter (25%) of respondents said that they had cycled in the last 4 weeks, similar to results from 2017/18 (27%), and down from 30% in 2016/17.
  • Male respondents (31%) were more likely than female respondents (16%) to say they had cycled in the last 4 weeks.
  • Of the 210 respondents who said they had cycled in the last 4 weeks, almost two-fifths (39%) cycled at least once a fortnight, similar to previous years. One-fifth (20%) cycled once every 4 weeks and a small proportion (6%) said they cycled 5-7 days a week.
  • The most popular reasons for cycling in the last 4 weeks was for ‘exercise’ (87%) and because they ‘enjoy it’ (80%).


Notes to editors: 


  1. The information presented in this publication derives from the 2019/20 Continuous Household Survey (CHS) in relation to questions on cycling in Northern Ireland. The CHS is considered to be a representative sample of the population at household level.  The 2019/20 survey was based on a random sample of 9,000 domestic addresses drawn from the Land and Property Services list of addresses and interviews were sought with all adults aged 16 and over in these households.  A total of 2,962 adults aged 16 and over were surveyed in 2019/20.
  2. This publication presents information on attitudes to cycling in Northern Ireland, access to bicycles, cycling in the past 4 weeks, and reasons people cycle. This question set was first asked in 2016/17 and was included for the third time in 2019/20.  Since 2017/2018, it has been included biennially and hence, there are no results for 2018/2019.

The Department may use information from this report to monitor the effectiveness of its active travel initiatives.

Official Statistics

  1. This is an Official Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice at: Statistics Authority.

Additional Information

For more information relating to this publication, including additional analysis, breakdowns of data, or alternative formats please contact:

Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch,
Room 4.13c,
Clarence Court,
10 - 18 Adelaide Street,
Town Parks
  1. For media enquiries please contact the DfI Press Office 028 9054 0007.

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