Where is cycling to work most common?
Each year for #cycletoworkday we take a look at cycling statistics across the country and try to map commuter data and find interesting trends. This is mainly because we at Beacon Dodsworth are either a little bit obsessed about cycling (I’m looking at you Toby Jarvis), or we tend to worry about the environment.
Looking past the usual suspects
Most cycling commute analysis comes to the same conclusions: Oxford and Cambridge have the highest percentage of cycle commuters. Our own home town of York usually comes in at a respectable 14%. At the other extreme, the countryside normally looks terrible, with a very low percentage of cycle commuters. As you would expect, cycling is more prevalent in urban areas, where a larger proportion of the population live closer to their place of employment and tend to be supported by dedicated cycling infrastructure. All this general analysis really underlines is those urban areas that don’t show up as cycling oases should work harder to encourage cycling.
How far away do you work?
This year we wanted to take a more well-rounded look at the problem, in a way that wouldn’t discriminate against rural areas or more sprawling cities. To start with, we looked at the last census to see what average commute distances were in any given postcode sector. The results surprised us, with an average commute across England of 16km - too far for most people to cycle, even if they were so inclined and supported by perfect health and a good cycle network (no, not you Toby!). We mapped this in our Prospex GIS to show trends across England. In most cases it shows the tiers of the commuter belt around major cities, but the borders, mid Wales, south east and west have very high average commute distances.
Cycling analysis where cycling is actually possible
To come up with a more informed analysis of cycle trends, we went back to the data and then looked at the percentage of cycle commuters out of those who travel less than 10km to work. The results seem to remove the urban bias to some extent and thankfully reduce the amount of red on the map. The map also shows some interesting areas of cycling virtue: East Anglia and the east coast, Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Hampshire.
These results also hint at something that population data won’t help with - topography. A large amount of the areas with low cycling penetration are in the extreme north, north west or other areas with big flipping hills. So let’s not be too quick to judge those areas in red.
With the census being the main source of population and lifestyle data and the next census looming, it will be fascinating to see what has changed in commuting patterns over the last 10 years and if the situation has improved. In the meantime, keep pedalling!
Our other blogs
All you need to know about postcodes but were afraid to ask
The humble postcode has been around for years. We look at how postcodes are used and what led to their introduction.
The power of postcode sectors
Postcode sectors are aggregations of individual postcodes and they provide meaningful geographical reporting areas in any GIS. However, they aren't as easy to map as you might think. Here is how we do it.
Google Fusion Tables
After almost 10 years of service, Google retired their Fusion Tables product at the end of 2019. This tool was very useful at visualising and sharing large amounts of tabular data - particularly amongst small and mid-sized businesses. So what can we do to fill the gap left by this tool?
Living Costs and Food Survey
The Living Costs and Food survey (LCF) is compiled every year and is used by the UK and European governments, Department for Transport (DfT), and Her Majesty’s Revenue and the Customs (HMRC). But what is it, and why should we care?
British Population Survey (BPS)
The British Population Survey (BPS) is a survey of household income and shopping habits collected by face-to-face interviews. We take a look at the BPS in detail, what exactly it is made from and how its data can be usefully applied by businesses and public organisations.
TimeTravel: the latest update
We look at the latest update to TimeTravel, our dataset of drive times and distances between any postcode sector or district. What has changed in the UK road and geographic network, plus new features to make it even more accurate.
Mapping GP prescription data
An article by Allan Brimicombe (Head of Centre for Geo-Information Studies at the University of East London) & Pat Mungroo on using GP prescription data to understand health needs.
What is GIS software?
A Geographical Information System (GIS), is a tool for analysing, visualising, managing and presenting data that is related to a physical, geographical location. That link to geography is the key difference between GIS and other data visualisation techniques.
How far is it to the beach
We use Beacon Dodsworth's scripting technology to answer that most important of questions when the sun finally does threaten an appearance.
Cycle to work day
Each year for #cycletoworkday we take a look at cycling statistics across the country and try to map that data and find interesting trends. This is mainly because we at Beacon Dodsworth are either a little bit obsessed about cycling, or we tend to worry about the environment.
Postcode to postcode drive time and distance
What happens if we want a postcode to postcode drive time lookup table?
The new normal for the GIS world
Toby, our Account Manager, looks at the changes to working style and client needs in the geodata industry following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Geodemographics and the University of East London
The University of East London explain how they have been using our P² People & Places geodemographic classification.
How to back up your Prospex data
Keep your GIS projects safe by using the in-built Prospex back up process. Here is how.
What is geodemographic profiling?
More than 64 million people live in the UK, each with their own outlook, priorities, needs and way of life. Geodemographic profiling offers a way to group these individuals to try and identify the right audience for your product or service.
Data visualisation and colour blindness
John, our director talks about living and working with colour blindness in the mapping industry where colours are pivotal in adding dimensions to people's understanding.
What has the census ever done for us?
How Census 2011 can be used to help organisations with demographic analysis.
Who spends most on Fruit and Veg
National Vegetarian Week (#NationalVegetarianWeek) this year runs from 11th to 17th May. What better opportunity to highlight how GIS mapping can be used to create marketing campaigns and raise awareness of the benefits of eating more fruit and veg.
As a Yorkshire-based company, we wanted to help celebrate Yorkshire Day, which takes place on 1st August. Naturally, we wanted to put a geographic spin on the celebration, so we took a look at drinking preferences within God’s own county.
Administrative geography is a way of dividing the country into smaller sub-divisions or areas that correspond with the area of responsibility of local authorities and government bodies. It provides an alternative to postcode geography but because it tends not to be used by consumers, it is often overlooked. We take a look at administrative geography, what it is and how to use it.
Mapping for local projects
Recently, we were contacted by a company responsible for organising charity door knockers. They needed more than 9,000 postcode sectors mapped at A4 size to pass to ground staff showing street level detail. This would enable them to use maps at a local level to plan fundraising routes and clearly define territories for each agent.
The foundations of geographical analysis
Displaying data on maps makes it easier to understand as well as giving a new perspective on a problem. Using a GIS to prepare and present data has become increasingly popular over the last 20 years, but graphical displays of data on maps were around long before computers came along.
Social change over 10 years
The next census isn’t due to take place until 2021 so we thought it was a good time to take stock of some of the changes and trends we noticed between the 2001 and the 2011 census. What difference does 10 years make to our society and the people that live within it?
Using geographic intelligence to grow the UK’s broadband network
Using geographic intelligence to sustainably grow the UK’s broadband network.
Where is the North
We've used the territory manager tool in Prospex GIS to split the UK into north, south and east and west with equal population counts.
Your continued use of this site is taken as implied consent to receive cookies from us and our analytics partners.