In the first week of December the CHIPS partners met in the surprisingly sunny city of Belfast to discuss the results of CHIPS survey and to design the behavioral change campaigns to attract more users on the cycle highways. The survey which was conducted by the project partners in Northern Ireland revealed the main barriers faced by commuters while cycling to work. Most respondents claimed that non-segregation of traffic is the biggest problem, while a smaller group of surveyed people has identified weather as the biggest problem.
The survey which was conducted in October and November with employees from companies located near the cycle highways in Northern Ireland (Comber Greenway), Province of Gelderland (Rijnwaalpad), Tiburg, Province of Flemish Brabant and Frankurt, has also confirmed the primary assumptions. For instance, in Flanders the main barriers are related to the lack of high quality cycle infrastructure, meanwhile people in the Netherlands experience much less barriers in comparison to the other countries.
The respondents of the survey were divided in three different categories: those who always walk or cycle to work, those who sometimes walk or cycle to work and those who never walk or cycle to work.
A first interesting conclusion is that in Flanders 80% of the people that never cycle to work say that they don’t cycle to work because it rains too often. The people that are already cycling to work every day tend to disagree: only 29% of them thinks it rains too often.
The main barrier for commuting by bike in Northern Ireland is the possible confrontation with car drivers. In Northern Ireland all of the respondents agree that they feel exposed to motorized traffic, that there are too many cars on the road and that drivers are erratic or intimidating.
Finally, there is also a confirmation of the stereotypes in our survey: in Flanders the main barriers are related to the lack of high quality cycle infrastructure and people in the Netherlands experience much less barriers in comparison to the other countries.
With these barriers in mind the CHIPS partners started to design a minimum of ten behavioral change campaigns to encourage more people to use the cycle highways more often.