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Active travel is measured as walking for at least 10 minutes or cycling as a means of transport to get to a particular destination. It doesn’t include walking or cycling done for pleasure, health reasons or training. Information about active travel by people in Wales is collected through the National Survey for Wales.

1. Main points

The active travel questions in the most recent National Survey for Wales were asked of adults aged 16+ and over. Data for active travel in children is available in our April 2018 to March 2019 release.

In April 2019 to March 2020:

  • 4% of adults cycled at least once a week for active travel purposes
  • 60% of adults walked at least once a week for active travel purposes, a slight increase compared to the previous year
  • 32% of adults in very good health walked every day in the last 3 months
  • 74% of people in urban areas walked for more than 10 minutes as a means of transport at least once a month, compared with 59% of people in rural areas
  • Data from NHS Wales shows that a total of 226 seriously injured pedal cyclists were admitted to hospital in 2019

Cycling

  • During 2019-20, 4% of adults cycled at least once a week for active travel purposes.
  • There was a reduction in the sample size in 2019-20 for responses to active travel questions around cycling, which means no comparisons should be made to previous years.
  • 226 seriously injured pedal cyclists were admitted to hospital in 2019; this represents a 3% increase on previous year and a 16% decrease on 2014 figure.

Walking

The percentage of people who frequently walked for at least 10 minutes was much higher than the percentage that frequently cycled as a means of transport.

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Chart 1 shows that in 2019-20, 45% of people actively travelled at least once or twice a week by walking.

 

When asked how frequently they had walked for more than 10 minutes as a means of transport in the previous three months 27% said they walked for more than 10 minutes every day. This was a 3 percentage point increase on 2018-19. 18% stated they walked several times a week and 15% once or twice a week, similar to the previous period (Chart 1). A further 9% walked once or twice a month and 31% said they walked less often than that or never. The frequency of active travel by walking for females was slightly lower than for males.

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Chart 2 shows that 27% said they walked for more than 10 minutes every day, 18% several times a week and 15% once or twice a week.

 

Persons with a limiting long-standing illness  were less likely to walk for more than 10 minutes than those without a limiting illness.

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Chart 3 shows that people with a limiting long-standing illness, disability or infirmity were less likely to walk for more than 10 minutes than those without a limiting illness.

Active travel by urban and rural classification

People living in urban areas were more likely to walk for more than 10 minutes as a means of transport. 74% of people in urban areas walked for more than 10 minutes as a means of transport at least once a month, compared with 59% of people in rural areas. People in urban areas were also more likely to walk more frequently, with 31% walking every day compared with 19% in rural areas (Chart 4).

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Chart 4 shows that people living in urban areas were more likely to walk for more than 10 minutes as a means of transport. 74% of people in urban areas walked for more than 10 minutes as a means of transport at least once a month, compared with 59% of people in rural areas.

Active travel by material deprivation

The National Survey includes questions around material deprivation.  For walking, the proportions walking as a means of transport every day was higher for those in material deprivation compared with those who were not (32% and 26% respectively, Chart 5). However, persons not in material deprivation were more likely to walk several times a week as a means of transport (19%) compared with those in material deprivation (13%).

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Chart 5 shows that the proportions walking at least once a month were very close for those in material deprivation and those who were not (71% and 68% respectively).

2. Key quality information

Key quality information can be found in the 2019 publication of Active Travel. In 2018/19 the sample size for questions to do with cycling was 12,000. In 2019/20 the sample size was 2,000, which is large enough to summarise the responses, although not considered robust enough to compare to previous years.

3. Questions covered

The table below shows questions that were included in 2019-20 on active travel. This bulletin included analysis over multiple survey years where the survey questions have been the same. 

Catagories of questions asked on active travel (adults) in 2019-20 survey
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
How often used bike to get somewhere N N N Y Y Y Y
How often walked for 10 mins to get somewhere N N N N Y Y Y
Walks (10 mins+) or cycles at least once a week as means of transport N N N N N Y Y

N: not asked  Y: asked 

Hospital admission data for seriously injured pedal cyclists is obtained from NHS Wales.

4. Contact details

Statistician: James Khonje
Telephone: 0300 025 0210
Email: stats.transport@gov.wales

Media: 0300 025 8099

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Ystadegau Gwladol

SB 43/2020 

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