Cycling in the city: Understanding urban cycling behaviours and constraints in space-time

Seraphim Alvanides, Godwin Yeboah

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


As cycling in British cities increases, so do conflicts between cyclists and other road users, as well as debates with city planners who are trying to balance cities’ transport infrastructures in the face of public spending cuts. In Tyne and Wear (North East England), incremental steps are taken by the local authorities to provide cycling infrastructure, albeit at a slow rate compared to the uptake of cycling in the commuting area. As a result, there appears to be increasing dissatisfaction from local campaign groups about the lack of a coherent cycling strategy, negative attitudes towards cyclists and even the refusal of the local public transport providers to allow bicycles on the metro system. This paper reports on a detailed survey of 72 commuter cyclists, while cycling in the area around Tyne and Wear. Data collection methods involved day-long GPS tracking alongside diaries for trip clarification and classification, over a period of 7 days. Secondary data involves the analysis of vehicle congestion data from traffic counters, superimposed on the main traffic arteries, cycling pathways and recently established 20 miles-per-hour zones. The aim of the paper is to present a comparative geographical analysis of primary tracks on everyday utility cycling, in comparison to “official” cycling network data of the study area. The purpose of this research is to provide evidence on the use of the area’s cycling infrastructure by experienced commuter cyclists, by estimating the cycle-miles on the cycling network as a percentage of the total, for the given sample. In order to fully comprehend the constraints imposed on cyclists, the tracks are analysed alongside vehicle congestion data. Space-time methods are used to understand what time of the day the trips are within or outside the cycling network in comparison to peak traffic times from traffic counters.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
EventRGS–IBG Annual International Conference AC2012 - University of Edinburgh, UK
Duration: 1 Jul 2012 → …


ConferenceRGS–IBG Annual International Conference AC2012
Period1/07/12 → …
Internet address


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