SE Health Project findings complete

In partnership with the Department of Health South East (DHSE), we undertook a unique two year project to learn more about the impacts upon health of getting more people cycling more often. We have just completed our analysis of the second year’s activity, which enables us to make comparisons to year one and also publish figures for the full project lifespan.



In 2009, the Department of Health South East invited Primary Care Trusts in partnership with local authorities to apply for a Workplace Cycle Challenge in their local area as part of Cycling England’s Finding New Solutions programme. We were inundated with applications and finally settled on the following six local authorities: Ashford, Chichester, Isle of Wight, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Southampton.

“The Challenge has given people the opportunity to take part in something new and fun. The evaluation report shows that the Challenge has encouraged people to continue cycling on a regular basis. CTC Challenge for Change provided excellent assistance with the Challenge. The support before, during and after has been first class.” – Simon Harris, Sports Projects Manager & Active Ashford Coordinator, Ashford Borough Council

Our findings have shown that, on average, 41% of non-cyclists reported cycling at least once a week three months after taking part in the Challenge.

During 2010 and 2011, the Challenges encouraged 10,264 unique individuals from 447 organisations to log 694,885 miles via 82,978 trips, burning off 6,160 pounds of fat and saving over 133 tonnes of CO2. That’s:

  • Cycling 28 times around the world.
  • Burning off more than 240,000 glasses of wine.
  • Saving enough CO2 to cover 23 return flights from London to Sydney.


Top-line Results

2011 Audience Segmentation

In 2011, the Challenges attracted on average 33% non-cyclists and 23% occasional cyclists at registration. This was similar to 2010, where 35% and 20% of registrants were non- and occasional cyclists respectively.

Non-Cyclists – People who had either not cycled at all or only a few times in the year before the Challenge.

Occasional Cyclists – People who had cycled only 1-4 a month before the Challenge.

Regular Cyclists – People who had cycled two days or more each week before the Challenge.

Three months after the 2011 Challenges, on average:


  • 41% of non-cyclists reported cycling at least once a week (range: 32-50%)
  • 44% of occasional cyclists reported cycling at least two days a week (range 34-52%)
  • 31% of non-cyclists reported cycling to work at least once a week (range: 18-39%)

  • 10% of participants (n=108) who travelled to work by car had switched to cycling to work as their main mode of transport (range: 6-16%)
  • 18% of non- and 16% of occasional cyclists who exercised less than 5 days a week before the 2011 Challenges met the DH guideline of 5 days a week of physical activity (range: 16-22% and 11-19% respectively)

For specific information on each Challenge, check out Case Studies.

A full report on the SE Health Workplace Cycle Challenges found a 16:1 benefit to cost ratio for new cyclists for health sector investment into behaviour change cycling programmes. Click here for the full report.