So it's a case of 'if you build it, they will come'?

Not necessarily. Building bike lanes, and preferably bike tracks, on its own does increase the number of bikes using those facilities, even when they are not particularly well-designed (for example, London’s ‘Cycle Superhighways’, though widely criticised for their design and execution, saw a 70% increase in the number of cycling on those routes)17 although there’s some evidence that some of the increase is down to existing cyclists using those facilities in preference to other routes.

However, simply building a network of bike routes is not enough – as has been seen in Milton Keynes. The routes must go where people want to go and they must be joined up, well-maintained and feel safe. More importantly, they must be at least as direct as the equivalent route by car, and preferably faster and more direct.

When combined with factors making motoring less convenient such as car parking charges, then people will choose the bike – not because they have been trained to do so, or encouraged to do so for their health or the environment, but because it is the most convenient way for them to get to where they want to go.