Leva

UK Wave 5: National Travel Attitudes on Electric Cycles

540 days ago

3 minutes

Source, UK Department for Transport (DfT) – The National Travel Attitudes Study (NTAS) is an online and telephone survey which covers responses from individuals aged 16 and over in England, drawn from people who have previously responded to the National Travel Survey (NTS). DfT has recently published the results of Wave 5.


The release of DfT covers Wave 5, which centres around attitudes towards cycling with a special focus on electric cycles (e-bikes) and cycle training courses. Additionally, one chapter that covers travel behaviour during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across all modes of transport and one chapter that covers walking were included. The survey was conducted in January and February 2021. In total, 2,554 people completed the survey.

Main findings

  • Off-road and segregated cycle paths (55%), safer roads (53%) and well-maintained road surfaces for cycling (49%) were chosen most often when Wave 5 respondents (who didn’t state that cycling is impossible for them due to their disability) were asked about things that would encourage them to cycle more.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the sample support the creation of dedicated cycle lanes in their local area, even if this means less road space for cars.58% of Wave 5 respondents reported to feel confident when riding a bicycle.
  • Men (74%) felt more often confident than women (43%).Of those respondents who didn’t feel confident about their cycling skills, 14% displayed interest in attending a cycle training course. Interest was highest in the age group 35-44 (29%).
  • 51% of Wave 5 respondents agreed that e-bikes are too expensive, with only 4% disagreeing with the statement. Nearly two in three indicated that they know very little about e-bikes.

Similar to the trends displayed in Wave 4, Wave 5 respondents reported substantially decreased usage of all travel modes compared to before the pandemic with the exception of the active travel modes walking and cycling.

A table that contains the underlying data for each question in this report is available.

Electric cycles (e-bikes)

A very small proportion of the sample had access to e-bikes. When those who did not state that their impairment makes cycling impossible, were asked if they owned an e-bike, 3% stated to own one and 1% stated to have regular use of one. The rest (97%) reported that they did not own or regularly use an e-bike.

Those who did not own or regularly use an e-bike were asked if they had ever used an e-bike to which 7% answered with yes and 93% with no.

Respondents who had never used an e-bike before were further asked if they were interested in riding an e-bike if they had the chance to do so which 35% answered with yes and 46% with no. The remaining 19% stated that they would need more information.

For all results of the survey, go to the website of UK Department for Transport.

Photo credits: HNF Nicolai

Daan van Dieren

Daan is a policy officer for LEVA-EU

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