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Smoooth Rides: British Cycling Members Reveal The Top 5 Cities With The BEST Road Surfaces In The UK

February 04, 2020

Smoooth Rides: British Cycling Members Reveal The Top 5 Cities With The BEST Road Surfaces In The UK


We are excited to release the first in our series of British Cycling member insights - Smooth Rides.

Are you one of the thousands of British Cycling members who are staying extra visible on the roads with See.Sense lights? Are you regularly connecting to the See.Sense app, contributing your Ride Insights? If the answer is YES, then we would like to say a huge thank you to you. Not only are you helping us map your town or city in greater depth, but you are also improving the chances that your own future rides are improved. That's exactly why we are starting this series.

See.Sense lights react to your environment on the road, keeping you extra visible at times you need to be seen. And when connected to our app, the lights also detect where you swerve, hit the brakes suddenly, and hit potholes; all things that negatively impact your experience. 

Is there anything better than cycling along a smooth road with a high-quality surface? (nerdy, we know, but a smooth road surface is a cyclist's best friend). So we thought we would start this insight series on a positive note and highlight the places that have some of the BEST road surfaces in the UK, all thanks to British Cycling members and See.Sense customers.

The results have been taken from aggregated members insights that have been collected over a 12 month period using patented technology inside See.Sense lights to measure the road surface. We also realise that featuring the best roads might seem like we are looking at things with rose-tinted glasses, so we WILL be featuring the worst roads soon where we know we need to campaign to improve cycling conditions. Watch this space.

So, keep reading to see how your town or city compares...

5 - Birmingham

Pavement Condition Index: 52% of journeys on PCI greater than 85

At number 5 we saw some of the roads in Birmingham with some of the best quality or improved road surfacing over the 12-month period. There was also some recent press explaining how Birmingham – once, proudly, the UK's “motorway city” – has announced plans to entice people out of cars and on to bikes and buses with plans for car-free zones. So this is great to hear! However, with little segregated cycling lanes and a lot of traffic, we know there is still some work to be done here to get more people cycling in the city.

4 - Glasgow

Pavement Condition Index: 58% of journeys on PCI greater than 85

Next up and at number 4 we have Glasgow who have invested in some smooth-surfaced roads. Just last month (January 2020) Glasgow announced a city-wide 20mph speed limit which was approved to help improve road safety.

3 - Edinburgh

Pavement Condition Index: 61% of journeys on PCI greater than 85

So there we go, there really are some decent roads in Scotland according to British Cycling members / See.Sense customers. The bronze award goes to Edinburgh! They are doing something right up there. 

2 - Manchester

Pavement Condition Index: 64% of journeys on PCI greater than 85

The home of British Cycling and many See.Sense customers. Manchester is right up there at number two with the silver award which is great to see. Manchester is featured regularly in the news as a 'blueprint' for cycling in the UK, so it's not a massive surprise to be here at number 2 on this list.

1- London

Pavement Condition Index: 68% of journeys on PCI greater than 85

Cycling around London is a great way to save money on transport costs and get some exercise at the same time. If you've been to the home of Big Ben recently then you'll not have missed the cyclists. Huge improvements have been made to London's cycling network over the last few years, with more cycle lanes and superhighways, so our number one and gold medal for road surfaces might not come as a shock to you. Kudos to London, but keep going!



While these are the top 5 cities with some of the best roads, there are still hundreds of towns and cities out there where we know that major investment and campaigning is needed. Keep an eye on the rest of this series to understand more about the state of cycling in the UK.


Did You Know

Road surface is the second greatest hazard faced by British Cycling members - more about this here.

Not Just A Bike Light?

It's not just about the city insights. If you own a See.Sense product and have joined our community through our mobile app, you’ll see some unique and fun stats about your own rides too. These include:

  • The distance you've cycled
  • The calories you've burned
  • How much CO2 you’ve saved by cycling
  • More unique and fun stats.

So, how does your city compare? We hope you enjoyed the first of our insight series. What would you like to see next? The worst road surfaces? The cities with the fastest cyclists? Or even if its something else, let us know.


Remember, all British Cycling members get 30% off See.Sense lights. Log into your members area for access.


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