London was surprisingly voted one of the best cities to be a cyclist in the UK – but beaten to first place by four others

A recent study revealed that London is one of the best cities in the UK for cycling. However, the Big Smoke did not make the top of the list and was beaten by other cities in the UK. The list was based on cycling infrastructure and considered safety, pollution and the experience of the cyclist.

To celebrate International Bike Week 2022 (June 6-12), life insurance experts at Forbes Advisor have decided to establish which cities in England and Wales are the best for cycling enthusiasts. London ranks fifth with its 203.29 km of cycle paths, which gives the capital its best score.

The extensive network of cycle paths meant that London was very popular. Beating London to first place, it was Birmingham, who claimed their top title of Britain’s best cycling city. Reputed to be the heart of the West Midlands, the city scored particularly well on the air quality variable, allowing Birmingham’s avid cyclists to maintain a good level of composure while cycling.

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The top five were Birmingham, Luton, Crawley, Leicester and London. At the other end of the scale was Birkenhead in Merseyside, the worst place in England and Wales for cyclists. The town lacks cycle paths since only 8.10 km of lanes are dedicated to two wheels.

The research was carried out in aid of Cycle Week which is advertised by different organizations to try and show people the benefits that switching to two wheels can bring. Among those benefits is a claim from CyleUk that says cycling to work can mean you have a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, he claimed that a change of one bicycle trip per day reduces a person’s carbon footprint by about 0.5 tonnes over a year. Explaining why having a safe space for cycling is important, Kevin Pratt of Forbes Advisor commented on the research:

“If you live in an area that has spaces and facilities for you to get plenty of exercise, that’s something to celebrate.

“But even if you’re not, you can hopefully find a safe and enjoyable walking, running or cycling route nearby that will help you stay fit and on top of your game.”

The data collected was compiled by Forbes Advisor assessing the latest air quality data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), climate/weather data from the Climate Analysis Center environmental data (CEDA) and cycle route data from Sustrans to establish which cities in England and Wales are best for cyclists.

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