Mapping Cyclists Using GIS & Census Data

Filed in: 2011 Census, General News

March 22, 2017

The Big Pedal is the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and scootering challenge. It’s designed to inspire pupils, staff and parents to cycle or scooter to school.

In 2017 The Big Pedal will return on the 20 March and run for two weeks until the 31 March.

On each day of the challenge schools will compete to see who can record the greatest number of pupils, staff and parents cycling or scootering to school.

The UK is lucky to have big names in the world of cycling. Tour de France champion and Olympic Time Trial winner Sir Bradley Wiggins is certainly an iconic figure and along with other household names from the successful Olympic and Paralympic cycling team such as Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Mark Cavendish and Sarah Storey are inspiring a new generation of cyclists.

Mapping and Demographics

The Big Pedal Challenge, a campaign encouraging people to cycle more, got us thinking about how mapping and demographics can help to better understand popularity of cycling within the UK.

For example, using 2011 Census data we can map out who uses their bicycle to commute to work:

Census data used to map cyclists


Looking at the map created using our flagship GIS mapping software, Prospex, there are some interesting patterns in the data.

Cycling seems to be more popular is some cities such as. Cambridge, Oxford, London and York.

If you take York, the city actively promotes cycling with a good network of cycle routes. It is the quickest way to get around the city. Oxford and Cambridge have long been known as cycling cities. In London, couriers actively use cyclists around the city as the roads are so congested for motor vehicles.

Using these findings as a base, organisations can invest time and energy into promoting cycling in areas that are not as well presented.

Find out more

For more information on using Census data for demographic research, why don’t you give us a call on 01904 701020.

Beacon Dodsworth Ltd.
5 Middlethorpe Business Park, Sim Balk Lane, Bishopthorpe, York. YO23 2BD
Tel. +44 (0)1904 701020 email

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