With businesses slowly returning to work, we decided to find out how people in cities were planning to commute following the Government's advice to "consider all other forms of transports before using public transport" in an effort to reduce the spread of coronavirus*.
We commissioned a survey of over 2,000 members of the public who reside in cities and don't have access to a car, and discovered that more than half of them (53%) are now considering cycling to work, with the main reason being to avoid 'unsafe' public transport.
Most popular ways people are planning to commute over the next few months:
- Cycling (53%)
- Walking (15%)
- Bus (14%)
The survey then looked into why people were considering these choices, and for cycling these were the three most popular reasons:
- Avoid 'unsafe' public transport (64%)
- Save money (21%)
- Improve fitness (14%)
Considering that the average Brit spends £800 a year commuting to work and even more if they live in London (£918), cycling definitely appears to be a great way to save money on the daily commute**.
We did some research and found out that the average hybrid bike in the UK would set you back £393; throw in an estimated £100 for accessories and maintenance, and you would still save more than £300 in the first year of cycling and £700 every year afterwards (taking annual bike maintenance into account).
A lot of people considering cycling may not even have to buy a new bike, as research shows that 42% of us already own or have access to a bike***. This means that rather than forking out for a new one, it'll be perfectly okay to dust off that old bike, and could explain the recent 300% spike in traffic to our bike accessories page in May compared to April.
The top 10 most popular bike accessories from the last eight weeks have been:
We also thought that now would be a good time to find out if employers would be looking to implement the Government's Cycle to Work Scheme. The majority of employers (62%) we surveyed stated that they hadn't previously heard of the scheme.
We found that only 7% of employers are considering the cycle scheme, while more than half (51%) said the scheme is too confusing to implement. Almost a quarter of employers (23%) stated that they would be asking staff to avoid public transport to avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus at work, while one in ten employers are happy to let staff continue working from home to avoid public transport.
Cas Paton, founder and CEO of OnBuy, said,
"Cycling to work will not only have the immediate benefit of slowing the spread of coronavirus, it can also save commuters money, improve fitness and help reduce our carbon footprint. It's great to see that so many people who have the option to cycle are now considering it.
"While the Government is making an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus on buses and trains with things like the cycling scheme, businesses are clearly confused by their role in helping employees get to work safely, and the Government support available to help them do so. Hopefully the scheme will prove useful to both employers and their staff, but in the meantime, OnBuy is ready to help people get back out on two wheels again."