Active Travel

Active travel (cycling and walking) is good for public health, good for the environment and good for cities too as making trips on foot or by bike rather than by car makes more efficient use of available street and road space.

Key Indicators

Number of walking trips (nationally)

Nationally in 2017 the average person made 317 walking trips (commuting and leisure) - accounting for almost a third of all trips. The big increase between 2015 and 2016 was due to previous under reporting of short walking trips.

The longer term trend has been one of decline in walking trips. In 1975/6 walking accounted for 47% of all trips. However, by 2016, this had fallen to 25% of all trips in England.


Number of cycling trips (by Local Authority or Metropolitan area)

The charts below shows the number of cycling trips made in 2017 for each major city region for total cycling trips, leisure based cycling trips and trips made for travel (e.g. commuting). Data for local authorities in Metropolitan areas has also been provided to allow comparisons between different local authorities within a Metropolitan area.


Number of cycling trips (nationally)

Cycle trips per head remain low nationally and fluctuate from year to year within a narrow band of numbers of trips.


Distanced travelled by mode (nationally)

In 2017, the average person walked 303 miles and cycled 60 miles. The average distance walked has decreased slightly in the last ten years. However the average distance cycled has increased despite the number of trips remaining broadly the same.


Average trip length by mode (nationally)

In 2017, the average trip length for walking was 1 mile and 3.4 miles for cycling. The average walking trip length has remained static, whilst there has been a slight increase in the average cycle trip length over the last ten years.