Dutch still leading the way when it comes to cycling

Britain has fewer trips by bike than any other European country

Cyclists in the Netherlands are the least likely to die while cycling and workers there who cycle are less likely to take days off sick.

These are just two of the myriad findings of the Dutch government's annual report on the state of cycling in the country.

Cycling in the Netherlands includes a 'league table' of European countries based on the percentage of all trips taken by bike. Even though the figures come from internet sources and are a couple of years old, it still makes compelling reading.

Again, the Dutch lead the way with a national average of 26 percent of all trips made by bike. In the top cities, that rises to 35-40 percent.

Languishing in last place is... yes, the UK, with a lowly national average of two percent of trips made by bike. The report does point out that places like Hull, York, Oxford and Cambridge are notable exceptions.

Perhaps the most startling graph in Cycling in the Netherlands is the one showing the number of cyclists killed per 100 million kilometres.

The Dutch have the lowest rate, only just below other Northern European countries such as Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden, which hover around two deaths per million kilometres cycled.

The most dangerous European country for cyclists appears to be Italy, where the comparable figure is 11. Great Britain has a mid-table position at around six deaths per million kilometres cycled.

So, do the Netherlands lead the way in all aspects of cycling. No, the Dutch are refreshingly honest in confessing to being Euro-leaders in bike theft.

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