The aim of this research thesis was to understand how the urban built environment interacts with utility cycling behaviours in space and time. Using mixed methods entrenched in the philosophy of pragmatism, the research contributed to an as yet under-developed research evidence-base within the British context by addressing the gap in knowledge relating to: the usability of spacetime and action space theories within visual analytics context in facilitating the knowledge discovery process from spatio-temporal datasets; empirical evidence on perceived and actual movement behaviour of urban utility cyclists; methodological advancement in collecting, refining, analysing and visualising detailed utility cycling behaviours in a British urban environment. Findings suggest that 57.4% of cyclists’ bike trips were found on the cycle network and with 42.6% of cyclists still cycling outside the designated cycle network; it is therefore imperative that policy initiatives aimed towards strategic investment in cycling behavioural research and infrastructure. The findings also showed a higher concentration of cycling uptake around the south-eastern part of Newcastle upon Tyne suggesting this area may need more investment than other areas in Tyne and Wear. Systematic comparison of GPS data and travel diary data suggest 8.4% under reporting of the former. The null hypothesis that urban transport network restrictions do not have any significant influence on movement of commuter cyclists was rejected upon examination and it was found that observed routes tend to be significantly longer than their shortest path counterparts. Profiling activity spaces of utility cyclists utilising different geographies was found to be useful in the examination of cycling behaviours for the purpose of providing visual aid for planners and policy makers to identify areas for improvement and informed investment in support of sustainable transport. Several efforts were being made to enhance data availability to inform policy strategies, and facilitation of feasible solutions for improving the urban cycling infrastructure and encouraging more people to cycle as part of their daily commute, for which this research aimed to contribute by providing evidence on the use of the area’s cycling infrastructure by utility cyclists and spatial variability of cycling in space and time.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - May 2014|