Maintenance of action: A qualitative study of cycle commuting adoption resulting from a cycle loan scheme

Cycling has multiple health benefits, but its share of commuting mode remains low in the UK. Little is known about barriers and determinants for new sustained recruits to commuting, and few studies have examined new recruits for a sufficient duration to enable habit formation. This qualitative study explores the experiences of adults starting or returning to cycle commuting in Bristol to gain insight into the determinants of initiation and maintenance of cycle commuting. Semi-structured interviews with ten participants were conducted on or after returning the cycle, analyzed using thematic analysis. It was found that participants were concerned by safety, the hostile road environment, poor infrastructure, roadworks, weather, hills, theft, and the relative need to be organized. They were motivated by life-transitions and time savings. Health and cost were both motivators and barriers, with the disadvantage being effort required and equipment costs. Workplace culture and facilities were influential. Participants did not feel integrated with pre-existing cyclists, did not easily find the ‘joy of cycling’, nor integrate cycling into wider routines. In conclusion, participants’ positive feelings could be crowded-out by negative experiences and cultural norms. Health and environmental gains may be limited if participants are already active and/or switching from public transport. While participants reported they intended to continue, maintenance of the activity may not readily continue.


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  • Accession Number: 01879308
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 17 2023 9:01AM