Who spends most – people who walk, drive, travel by bus, train or tube or cycle?

TfL-commissioned research to determine the shopping behaviour, frequency and spend of visitors by different modes in selected town centres to establish the contribution made by bus users and other modes to the economic health and viability of town centres across London. The 2015 study included town centres with mini-Holland cycling schemes including Enfield.

London’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, has often said “everyone knows cyclists spend more”. It is not true. 

Extract from the Town Centres Report 2016 (for the full report, see the link below; the link to the previous report, 2013, is also below):

Average spend per mode of transport, Town Centre Report 2015, p60 onwards

Those who travelled by car were also high spenders on the day of the interview (45% spent £50 or more). In comparison, only 17% of those who travelled by bus, 15% of those who cycled and 16% of those who walked to the centre spent £50 or more.

“Those who travelled by bus spent an average of £33 on the day of interview. Those who travelled by car spent the most on average on the day of interview (£56, a large increase on the £47 in 2014) but those who travelled by train/Tube were also high spenders (£51 on average). Those who cycled and walked to the centre spent the least (£27 and £29 respectively).”

The average spend was £39 on the day of interview which is slightly more than the usual spend per visit: £34. The average spend per week was £73. The average spend per month was £293. Average spend per visit by mode was car £47, train/Tube £47, bus £30, walk £25 and cycle £25.

Average spend per week by mode was:

  • walk £92
  • bus £71
  • car £71
  • cycle £65 and
  • train/Tube £50

Average spend per month by mode was:

  • walk £370
  • bus £284
  • car £283
  • cycle £259 and
  • train/Tube £201.

What did people think about improved cycle facilities?

The study asked how many people think improved cycle facilities are needed/the most important thing. Two-thirds of shoppers said that nothing would encourage them to cycle to the shops.

What did people think were the priorities for improvements to the area?

In a range of 17 categories of answers (not including “nothing”, “other” and “don’t know”) the top two were a better range of shops and a more pleasant/greener environment and the bottom two were improve cycle facilities and improve access to bus stop locations:

  • Better range of shops: 28%
  • More pleasant/greener environment: 25%
  • Improve cycle facilities: 4%
  • Improve access to bus stop locations: 3%

Cyclists do not spend more on the high street than people who travel by other modes.

Town Centres Report 2015 (published 2016): http://content.tfl.gov.uk/town-centres-report-2014-15.pdf

Town Centres Report 2013: http://content.tfl.gov.uk/town-centres-report-13.pdf