Publication of Cycling In Northern Ireland 2017/2018

Date published: 28 February 2019

The Cycling in Northern Ireland 2017/2018 report is now available.

Publication of Travel Survey for Northern Ireland 2012-2014 headline report

This report, produced by the Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch (ASRB) of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), presents findings from the 2017/2018 Continuous Household Survey (CHS).  The publication is available on the ASRB website at:

Key points

Bicycle Ownership

  • 36% of respondents had access to a bicycle – this comprises 32% who owned a bicycle, with another 3% reporting they had access to a bicycle owned by someone else. The 36% reported in 2017/18 is greater than the 32% reported in 2016/2017.
  • Male respondents (39%) were more likely to own a bicycle than female respondents (24%).
  • Respondents from a rural area (34%) were more likely than those from an urban area (30%) to own a bicycle.
  • Respondents living in the least-deprived areas (40%) were more likely to own a bicycle than those living in most-deprived areas (22%).

Whether cycled in the last four weeks

  • Of the 910 respondents who had access to a bicycle in 2017/2018, 27% had cycled in the last 4 weeks. This is not significantly different to the proportion reported in 2016/2017.
  • Male respondents (34%) were more likely than female respondents (18%) to have cycled in the last four weeks.
  • Those in urban areas (31%) were more likely than those in rural areas (21%) to have cycled in the last 4 weeks.

Frequency of cycling

  • Of the 234 respondents who had cycled in the last 4 weeks, 36% cycled at least once a fortnight, 23% cycled at least once a week, 18% cycled 2-4 days a week, 14% cycled once every 4 weeks, and 8% cycled 5-7 days a week.

Reasons for cycling

  • The most popular reasons stated by respondents for cycling were for exercise (83%) and for enjoyment (74%).
  • Fewer than three-in-ten respondents chose any of the other reasons for cycling: 29% stated that ‘it is a cheap way to travel (there are no costs for fuel, car parking or bus/ train fares)’; 26% said ‘I find it convenient (I live close to work, education, shops)’; 20% stated they cycle ‘for environmental reasons’; 19% said ‘I have no car’; and a further 19% stated ‘it saves time (e.g. to avoid traffic jams)’.
  • Proportions in 2017/18 were not significantly different to 2016/17, with the exception of having no car which increased from 13% in 2016/17 to 19% in 2017/18.

Attitudes to cycling

All respondents were shown four statements, and asked which best describes their attitude to cycling.

  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of all respondents were in the ‘No Way No How’ group.  Under one-fifth (17%) were in ‘The Interested but Concerned’ group, 15% in ‘The Enthused and the Confident’ group and 4% in ‘The Strong and the Fearless’ group. This latter category was the only group to experience a change from the last survey, increasing from 3% in 2016/17 to 4% in 2017/18.

Notes to editors: 

1 Background
The information presented in this publication derives from the 2017/18 Continuous Household Survey (CHS) in relation to cycling.  The CHS is considered to be a representative sample of the population at household level. A total of 2,785 adults aged 16 and over were surveyed in 2017/18.  The set of questions on cycling in Northern Ireland was first included in the 2016/17 Continuous Household Survey (CHS), and where applicable, comparisons are made between the two years. 

2 The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) will use the information presented in this publication to support policy development and monitor the effectiveness of the Bicycle Strategy for Northern Ireland (2015).

3 This is an Official Statistics publication and therefore follows the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.  You can find further information about the Code of Practice at: http://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html

4 Further Information
For further information please contact:

Analysis, Statistics and Research Branch
Department for Infrastructure
Clarence Court                                        
10-18 Adelaide Street
Belfast BT2 8GB

5 All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email: press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk. Out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.

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