A MAJORITY of residents in Edinburgh want more money invested in cycling, according to a new survey.

The poll, by sustainable transport charity Sustrans and Edinburgh City Council, found that three-quarters of people living in the capital would support an increase taxpayer funding for cycle-friendly policies and infrastructure.

The average amount people in Edinburgh would like to see invested from national and local transport budgets in cycling is £23 per person per year - equivalent to around £11.3 million per annum for the population of the capital.

Edinburgh has garnered a reputation as Scotland's most bike-friendly city after the local authority became the first in Scotland to ring-fence a percentage of its transport for cycling back in 2012.

It also committed to increase the share of spending on cycling by one per cent each year, and the level currently stands at eight per cent for the 2015/16 financial year.

However, the Bike Life Survey has found that 72 per cent of respondents in Edinburgh agreed they would like to see more people out and about on bikes, while two-thirds (62 per cent) reported that more people riding bikes would make the capital a better place to live and work.

The survey has recorded the views of thousands of people across Edinburgh and six other UK cities: Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Greater Manchester and Newcastle.

The method is based on the Copenhagen Bicycle Account, which helped to make Denmark’s capital one of the world’s most bike-friendly and ‘liveable’ cities. The exercise will be repeated in 2017 to chart changes in travel habits and opinions.

Kate Campbell, deputy director of Sustrans Scotland, said: “The message from the Edinburgh Bike Life survey is absolutely clear: the capital’s residents want to see more people choosing to travel by bike, and they want to see government – national and local – investing more to make this a reality.

“The Scottish Government is right to continue to increase investment in cycling. The City of Edinburgh Council is leading the way in Scotland at the local authority level.

“Big strides are being made, but there’s still much to do.”

Transport Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “The results of Edinburgh’s Bike Life report make for very interesting reading, demonstrating the rapidly increasing interest in cycling amongst city residents. To this end, the council is committed to invest in infrastructure for cyclists, and we are delighted to be delivering several major cycling projects this year.

“We wouldn’t be able to carry much of these improvements out without the support of organisations like Sustrans though, and we will continue to work closely with partners to develop the city’s growing cycle network and to promote the health and environmental benefits of cycling to the public.”

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: "It's good to know the vast majority of people support the idea of more investment in cycling. Given that carbon emissions from transport remain stuck at 1990 levels, there's a real need to encourage the public to cycle and walk more.

"As we approach the Holyrood elections, we're looking for all the political parties to commit to allocating a much greater proportion of capital spend to low carbon infrastructure, including projects that would help boost cycling and walking."