The survey was executed by the Institute of Public Health and published in the British Medical Journal. The scientists trawled dozens of studies worldwide, eventually resulting in 25 meeting the reliability criteria. Of these, 6 referred specifically to bicycles, the others focused more on sustainable modes of transport in general.
The study covers mostly English cases, with exceptions from Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. For the Netherlands the study falls back on 1987 research into the Delft network. The study draws the conclusion that the built environment ‘probably’ affects bicycle use, but that so far this has not been substantiated by scientific research. In addition the scientists state that it is not clear to which degree campaigns aimed at attitude and perception are effective. Individual marketing, however, does seem to be effective - at any rate in countries without a real cycling culture like Australia and the United Kingdom - but the effect is mainly apparent in people already deliberating changing their behaviour. In addition, poor infrastructure appears to decrease the willingness to start cycling.
Overall the scientists advocate adapting the environment, in combination with education at individual and institutional levels. They expect this kind of approach to modestly increase bicycle use. On the basis of the available studies the scientists assume an increase of 3.4 percentage points in the number of cycling trips. The more general sustainability campaigns lead to an average of 8 additional trips per person per year.