The number of people in England walking regularly has 'significantly increased' over the last couple of years but cycling numbers have remained static, according to the latest Department for Transport statistics.
A recently released suite of travel statistics also revealed high levels of inactivity in certain areas with 25% of Knowsley residents not walking or cycling at all each month. Wirral and East Lindsey followed with more than one in five residents carrying out no active travel.
Research found that those who do walk at least once per month are also more likely to engage in general physical activity.
A Knowsley Council spokeswoman said the issue was a priority and it was working with partners and local businesses 'to promote the wide variety of walking and cycling programmes in the borough, including, for example, heritage walks, organised cycle rides, new cycle hubs and existing and planned cycle pathways'.
At the national level in England, the proportion of people walking at least once per month has stayed the same since 2012/13, at 86%, however at once, three times or five times a week there have been increases in walking in most regions.
‘This has been mainly driven by similarly significant increases in walking for utility purposes. At local authority level, the prevalence of walking at least once per month ranges from 75% in Knowsley, to 96% in the Isles of Scilly (a range of 20%)’ it states.
The proportion who cycled at least once a month was unchanged between 2012/13 and 2013/14 at 15%, however there were significant increases in cycling rates in 35 local authorities.
Regionally there were increases in the South West and East Midland, and in Tyne and Wear but in 14 authorities, there was a decrease in cycling. The proportion of adults cycling at least five times per week varies from around 28% in Cambridge and 11% in Oxford to less than 1% in other areas, with the national average 3%.
In walking the proportion of men and women were very similar at all ages, with on average 87% of men walking at least once per month compared to 86% of women.
Whereas for cycling there were distinct differences by gender with women far less likely to cycle - on average 20% of men cycle while only 10% of women do.
Source: DfT / Active People Survey, 2015