About the Propensity to Cycle Tool

This is the online home of the open source transport planning system, the Propensity to Cycle Tool (PCT). The PCT is released under the Affero GPL: it is free to use, copy and modify, e.g. to create versions for new cities and states. Please cite the journal article Lovelace et al. (2017) and/or Goodman et al. (2019) if you use the PCT in your work.

The PCT Team

Co-investigator: Data Lead
Co-investigator: Lead Developer
Co-investigator: Lead Policy and Practice
With many thanks also to former PCT team members Alvaro Ullrich and Ilan Fridman Rojas

Aim and scope of the PCT

The PCT was designed to assist transport planners and policy makers to prioritise investments and interventions to promote cycling. The PCT answers the question: 'where is cycling currently common and where does cycling have the greatest potential to grow?'. The PCT can be used at different scales.

First, the PCT is a strategic planning tool. Different visions of the future are represented through various scenarios of change, including the Department for Transport’s draft Cycling Delivery Plan target to double cycling in a decade and the more ambitious ‘Go Dutch’ scenario, whereby cycling levels equivalent to the Netherlands are reached in England and Wales (allowing for English and Welsh hilliness and trip distances). By showing what the rate of cycling could feasibly look like in different parts of cities and regions, and illustrating the associated increase in cycle use on the road network, the PCT should inform policies that seek a wider shift towards sustainable transport.

Second, the PCT can also be used at a smaller scale. The scenario level of commuter cycling along a particular road can be used to estimate future mode share for cycling on that corridor. This can be compared with current allocation of space to different modes, and used to consider re -allocation from less sustainable modes to cater for cycling growth. In other cases, low current or potential flows may indicate a barrier, such as a major road or rail line, causing severance and lengthening trips. This could be addressed through new infrastructure such as a pedestrian and cycle bridge.

Central both to strategic and smaller-scale use is the question of where to prioritise high quality cycling infrastructure of sufficient capacity for a planned growth in cycling (Aldred et al 2017).

In summary the PCT is a planning support system to improve cycling provision at many levels from regions to specific points on the road network. For further information on the thinking underlying the tool's design, and the methodology used to create it, please see Lovelace et al. (2017) (commute layer) and Goodman et al. (2019) (school layer). You can get updates about the tool on the PCT's blog series. To view the underlying source code, please visit Github/npct.

Funding & Acknowledgements

The work was initially funded by the English Department for Transport (DfT) to create the National Propensity to Cycle Tool for England (2015-2017, with further funding in 2018-19). The Welsh government funded the extension to Wales in 2018. We would also like to thank the EPSRC and ESRC for Impact Acceleration funding (2016-2017).

We would like to thank Brook Lyndhurst for facilitating Phase 1 of the DfT contract and Atkins for facilitating Phase 2.

We would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement we have had from Shane Snow, Philipp Thiessen, Richard Mace, Kaylisha Archer, John Sweetman, Rabina Nawaz and colleagues at the Department for Transport (DfT).

Finally, we would like to thank CycleStreets for providing data on routes.

Scope, limitations and liability

The PCT uses transparent methods and reliable, tested data. However, the tool is limited in scope: the PCT is based on hypothetical national scenarios of cycling uptake. It is not a predictive tool and does not provide estimates of cycling uptake resulting from a given intervention. The PCT is limited by the geographic resolution of the origin-destination data it uses, and uses a deterministic (not probabilistic) routing algorithm. Thus, care should be taken when using the PCT to plan for specific interventions, for example estimating cycling potential on two parallel streets. The tool is designed to support planning based on local knowledge and we cannot accept liability for any loss or damage caused.

Accessibility Statement

The accessibility statement is available online.

Contact Us

For more information or questions, please contact us at: pct@pct.bike.


Aldred, R., Elliott, B., Woodcock, J., Goodman, A., 2017. Cycling Provision Separated From Motor Traffic: a systematic review exploring whether stated preferences vary by gender and age.Transport Reviews. 37:1, 29-55, DOI: 10.1080/01441647.2016.1200156.

Lovelace, R., Goodman, A., Aldred, R., Berkoff, N., Abbas, A., Woodcock, J., 2017.The Propensity to Cycle Tool: An open source online system for sustainable transport planning. Journal of Transport and Land Use. 10:1, 505–528, DOI: 10.5198/jtlu.2016.862.

Goodman, A., Fridman Rojas, I., Woodcock, J., Aldred, R., Berkoff, N., Morgan, M., Abbas, A., Lovelace, R., 2019.Scenarios of cycling to school in England, and associated health and carbon impacts: Application of the ‘Propensity to Cycle Tool’. Journal of Transport & Health. 12, 263-278, DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2019.01.008.