Average Scot '˜has not ridden a bicycle in nine years'

The average Scot has not ridden a bike in nine years, despite a growing interest in cycling across the country, a survey has found.

A new cycle lane recently opened on Leith Walk - but cyclists have complained about having to dodge a lamppost in the middle of it. Picture: Greg Macvean/JP Resell
A new cycle lane recently opened on Leith Walk - but cyclists have complained about having to dodge a lamppost in the middle of it. Picture: Greg Macvean/JP Resell

The recent achievements of Scottish cycling stars such as Sir Chris Hoy appear not to have led to an uptake in the sport, with one in five Scots admitting it’s been over a decade since they last pedaled for pleasure.

A survey of more than 2,000 adults across the UK also found that one in eight cannot ride a bike, while almost of half of the Scots sampled said they did not own a bicycle.

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The survey, by the British Heart Foundation, is a set back for the Scottish Government’s vision of 10 per cent of everyday journeys being made by bicycle by 2020.

The current rate has remained below two per cent for a decade.

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In Edinburgh, the council aims to see 15 per cent of residents cycling to work every day by 2020 - although estimates suggest only half that number do so at present.

Ian Maxwell, of voluntary cycling campaign group Spokes, told The Scotsman in 2016 that Edinburgh offered the best environment for bikes at present - but added other cities “were catching up fast”.

Council bosses in Glasgow insist cycling is more popular in the city than ever before; with the number of people choosing to travel by bike increasing by at least 200 per cent in less than a decade.

Elizabeth Tack of the British Heart Foundation said: “It’s surprising to learn that whilst there is a clear appetite for cycling in the UK, there is still a vast amount of us who are not getting on our bikes often enough, or even at all. Cycling is a fantastic way of keeping your heart healthy.”