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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 January 2007, 14:22 GMT
Better-off 'more likely to cycle'
Cyclist
Men tend to cycle more than women, figures suggested
Cycling is more popular among wealthier families, government figures suggest.

On average, households on a higher income cycle 49 miles a year compared with 29 miles for the less well-off, the Department for Transport said.

Boys aged from 11 to 16 made the most cycle trips each year, and men aged 30 to 49 travelled the greatest distances, the figures for 2005 also showed.

The government has said it wants more people to cycle more often to improve the nation's health and cut congestion.

The transport department's figures help to paint a picture of the take-up of cycling across the UK.

Gender gap

They show an average resident will get in the saddle 14 times a year, travelling a total of 36 miles.

But only 1% of all journeys are made on a bike, with that figure doubling for trips of less than two miles.

It is more popular among men than women, with the widest gender gap among the 17 to 20-year-olds.

Among the younger generation, only 2% of trips to and from secondary schools are by bike, falling to 1% for primary school children.

June and July emerge as the peak months for the activity, with December proving to be the least popular.

The biggest reason for travelling on two wheels is for social or leisure purposes, followed by commuting.

The government has pledged to treble cycling trips from the 2000 level by 2010.

In 2005, it set up several government-funded bodies aimed at promoting the activity.

Among them is Cycling England which describes cycling as a key life skill because no other everyday activity can do as much both for individuals and the whole community.




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