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Cycling cultures in a mass motorised society: a multi-method case study of four English urban areas

Currently the UK faces major policy challenges including climate change, economic crisis, and the rise in limiting, costly illnesses linked to low levels of physical activity. Transport contributes to these problems, and active transport - walking and cycling - could be part of the solution; green, cheap, and offering an obvious way for many people to get the daily exercise they need. However, we need more evidence about how active transport levels could be increased.

This project will focus on cycling, studying four relatively high-cycling areas and trying to find out why cycling thrives in these areas. In these areas, it is likely that many residents who cycle regularly would not do so if they lived elsewhere in the UK. Their experiences are important for understanding processes through which cycling becomes "normal".

The four chosen areas - Cambridge, Hackney, Hull, and Bristol - have different social, spatial, and political characteristics. The project will use a mix of qualitative methods to analyse components of different cycling cultures, and how inclusive they are of different social groups. It will investigate how people think about and practise cycling within each locality, and explain how cycling provides particular ways of experiencing the four places.


Interviewee: Rachel Aldred Date: 11 December 2013 Dissemination / Communication