Understanding bicycling behaviours
Latest recommendations from urban transport literature together with the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence suggest research on cyclists’ perception and experiences. This research has for the first time facilitated the collection and analysis of detailed bicyclists’ route choices in the UK, bringing substantive empirical evidence for understanding daily bicycling behaviours.
The consideration of cycling as part of sustainable integrated transport has the potential to ameliorate greenhouse gas emissions which also impact on climate change; hence, understanding cycling transportation is paramount. Latest recommendations from urban transport literature together with the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence suggest further research to incorporate the investigation and discovery of cyclists’ experiences and perception to facilitate sustainable health and integrated transport with low impact on environment (Forsyth & Krizek, 2011; NICE, 2012). The ultimate realisations of cycling benefits by cities, such as cities in North East England, are hampered by lack of appropriate data to inform policy strategies to improve cycling uptake as well as data processing methodologies. Several efforts are being made to enhance data availability to inform policy strategies and cycling uptake for which this research aim to contribute by providing evidence on the use of the area’s cycling infrastructure by cyclists. This research has for the first time facilitated the collection and analysis of detailed bicyclists’ route choices in the UK, bringing substantive empirical evidence for understanding daily cycling behaviours.
2 Study area and methods: Data collection, processing, characteristics and analysis
The study area is around Tyneside Conurbation in the North East of England. Three survey instruments were developed, in addition to the use of GPS devices and materials for the field campaign, for the purposes of this research. Participants screened as utility cyclists carried the GPS device for one week while filling travel diaries in-between October – November 2011. Space Time Cube based processing is the idea of exploiting and using the STC space construct, as originally proposed by Hägerstrand (1970) and adopted by Kapler and Wright (2004), and to edit raw GPS data by mainly visual inspection with additional data (Yeboah & Alvanides, 2013). Total number of cycle trips per 79 adult cyclists, is 941; 319 trips made by females and 622 made by males. Corridor space or region is defined as a buffer zone around cycle lanes/paths use for detecting cycle trips/cycle trip sections/other available cycle infrastructure. The concept is used to find cycle trips off/on/near the “official” cycle network in the study area.
Preliminary findings from the corridor space analysis suggest that 57% of cyclists from sample prefer cycling on the cycle network whiles 34.1% cycles outside the cycle network with 8.9% near the cycle network. Also, for all cycle trips, it was found out that females prefer to cycle on the network whiles males prefer outside the network. However, these differences of gender and cycling corridor network infrastructure usage are not so significant. With 43% of cyclists still cycling outside the designated cycle network, it is imperative that policy initiatives are aimed towards investing in cycling research and infrastructure. The frequencies of male cyclists who cross cycle crossings are almost four times that of female cyclists; suggesting that female cyclists may tend to avoid cycle crossings.
Forsyth, A., & Krizek, K. (2011). Urban Design: Is there a Distinctive View from the Bicycle? Journal of Urban Design, 16(4), 531-549. doi: 10.1080/13574809.2011.586239
Hägerstrand, T. (1970). What about people in Regional Science? Papers in Regional Science, 24(1), 6-21. doi: 10.1007/bf01936872
Kapler, T., & Wright, W. (2004). GeoTime Information Visualization. Paper presented at the Information Visualization, 2004. INFOVIS 2004. IEEE Symposium.
NICE. (2012). Walking and cycling: local measures to promote walking and cycling as forms of travel or recreation NICE public health guidance 41.
Yeboah, G., & Alvanides, S. (2013). Everyday cycling in urban environments: Understanding behaviours and constraints in space-time. GISRUK2013 Conference,UK.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Category: Science, Research and Development