Bristol & London UK’s most cycle friendly cities - suggests Bike Dock Solutions research

A survey of provision for cyclists in UK cities has revealed large variations in what’s on offer, with Oxford and Bristol leading the way for cycle parking facilities, and Leeds and London topping the table for the extent of dedicated cycle pathways.

Bike Dock Solutions, the specialist provider of secure cycle parking equipment and accessories, contacted cities around the UK to assess the level of facilities available for cyclists. It allocated ranking points to each city based on the number of kilometres of public cycle pathway and the number of publicly available cycle parking spaces. Ranking was based on provision expressed as a proportion of the city’s estimated cycling population.

Although Bristol and London top the table overall, neither came top in either the pathway or the cycle parking tables, but were closely challenged by Cardiff, Oxford and Liverpool. Hull, Edinburgh, Leeds and Sheffield also scored well. The overall table is propped up by Portsmouth, Swansea and Brighton. Some cities including Birmingham, Cambridge and Nottingham were unable to provide information on the level of cycle parking or pathways available.

Cities leading the way for cycle pathways were Leeds, London and Liverpool with 627km (10.7% of the city’s estimated cycle population), 5635km (9.6%) and 152km (4.2%) respectively. At the lower end of the table Brighton reported just 22km of cycle pathway (0.11%), Southampton 47km (0.26%) and Leicester 76km (0.3%), although Leicester did report that further cycle pathways are planned.

In terms of publicly available cycle parking, Oxford – perhaps in part because of its high student population - topped the table with 3000 places (24.8%), followed by Bristol, 6400 places (20.8%) and Hull with 1600 (8.2%). London reported 46,000 cycle parking spaces (7.88% of its estimated cycling population), although it also reported that it expected to increase this number to 66,000. (If you would like to see detailed breakdowns of all of the above data, please contact us at

“The most interesting aspect of this research is the sheer level of variation in provision,” explains James Nash, director of Bike Dock Solutions. “The government has set great store by its Cycle to Work scheme, both as a way of improving the sustainability of our transport habits and also to improve levels of health and fitness. What this demonstrates is that with local authority budgets under severe pressure that aspiration is running some way ahead of the level of facilities needed to make it happen.”

Bike Dock Solutions designs and installs the kind of practical and secure bicycle parking that helps to meet this need. The company also has a strong focus on the impact that its business has on the environment, so it manufactures its products locally to keep emissions to a minimum. It is also the first bicycle parking provider in the UK to manufacture many of its products from recycled steel.

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