A new survey by the Campaign for Better Transport has named Cambridge the second best city in the UK for walking and cycling. Cambridge tied for second-place with Manchester, whilst Nottingham was declared the best in the country.

The recently compiled report looks at 19 cities around the UK, rating their accessibility, quality of public transport and walking and cycling provisions as well as assessing the cities’ overall reliance on cars.

The research was done as part of the charity’s campaign to increase the convenience and viability of alternative transport options in order to reduce the use of cars, which they claim are socially exclusive and damaging to the environment.

According to the report, Cambridge showed the highest proportion of morning commuter cycling, with 3.9 per cent of people travelling by bicycle to work in the morning. The busy stream of cyclists throughout the day was also said to rival other cyclist-friendly European cities.

Although Cambridge also scored well in terms of its residents’ overall reliance on cars, the public transport provisions were deemed worse than average, placing the city thirteenth out of a sample of 19 cities.

The Campaign for Better Transport’s report suggests that long-overdue plans for a guided bus way will help to alleviate limited public transport provisions, but also warns that the city’s excellent conditions for cyclists may be partially jeopardised by these.

According to the report, such plans “would substantially increase traffic around the north of Cambridge, with a knock-on effect on walking and cycling levels”. With this in mind, Cambridge City Council is currently opposing these plans.

The co-owner of Ben Hayward’s Cycle Dealers, a shop which has been open since 1912, said, “I’ve lived in Cambridge all my life and the volume of traffic has increased substantially in the past few years, but the council have built excellent cycle routes going in and out of the city centre, and I don’t think there’s much more they can do.”

Speaking on behalf of the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, Robin Heydon stated, “I would argue the number of people cycling in Cambridge proves it is actually the most cycling-friendly city in England. We have some of the best cycle infrastructure in the country and some beautiful routes along the river too.”

Michael Hornsey, a keen cyclist and student at the University, observed, “the amount of cyclists in Cambridge reflects the pace of life here: owning a bicycle means you can arrive at the boathouse in two minutes or the faculty in six, and that can make all the difference.”