A recent study of 16 prominent UK cities has found that midlands hub, Coventry, is the best place to live as a motorbike owner, due to a number of factors identified through data analysis.
With sunnier days finally on their way, a collection of studies and data sets have been summarised by insurance broker Brightside Insurance, (Anyone else keep singing `Coming outta my cage and I’m doin’ just fine,’ whenever you hear that broker name? – Insurance Edge Ed) to demonstrate some of the unexpected positive factors and negative repercussions of towns and cities in the U.K, including vehicle theft, hours stuck in traffic, rainfall, motorbike test pass rates, speed limits, petrol prices, frequency of accidents and the number of motorbike clubs in the area.
The country’s most appealing place to live as a biker, Coventry, came out top in Brightside’s research on several factors. The average speed in the city centre is 17MPH, residents only spend 90 hours per year stuck in traffic and enjoy a scant 700mm of rain per year and cheaper petrol. There are some compromises, however – residents have to travel further afield to find a broader range of motorcycle clubs, as there are just 4 in the area. However, with Birmingham just 20 miles away, bikers craving the community spirit have the luxury of picking from 18 clubs there.
Other well scoring cities included Coventry’s neighbour Birmingham, and Liverpool in the North West. The research also found those wanting to pass their motorcycles tests should take their test in Bristol with an average pass rate of 76.55%, compared to Glasgow’s 57.3%. Belfast came out on top for the least amount of vehicle thefts, compared to Edinburgh, where the smaller population meant the city performed worst in average thefts per person.
Unsurprisingly, Greater London was the second lowest scoring city in Brightside Insurance’s research, with an average score of 6.1. Not only are drivers stuck for longest in traffic per year, the average speed limit is also the lowest – not great when motorbikes are known for their speed and agility moving through traffic. London is also the place which scored the worst for road traffic accidents.
And finally, the losing city in our research, Cardiff, came out as the worst place to own a motorbike. The Welsh capital had the most rainfall per year, with an incredibly damp 1151.9mm per year. In comparison to the sunniest city Reading, with an average rainfall of just 635.4mm a year, it is not surprising that this would be a frustrating place to live for any keen biker.
Another factor that lost the city points was the number of motorbike clubs in the area. Cardiff only has 4 motorbike clubs according to data from Motorcycle.org. Whilst a motorcycle club is not the be-all and end of a motorbike owner’s checklist, many riders prefer the opportunity to socialise with other like-minded people with a similar passion to theirs. (I’m keener on great roads and interesting hang-outs, like Rivvy Barn, Midway Truckstop near Shrewsbury or The Ace Cafe London myself – Anti-social Ed)
Whilst Cardiff did score relatively well for Vehicle Thefts and Petrol Prices, both being lower than average, it was set back by the city’s low scores for Motorbike Test Pass Rates and Average Road Accidents Per Year.
The above data was collected from numerous sources – certain sets were averaged out per capita to create a more even comparison – this included data sets such as vehicle theft in areas and average road accidents per year. Each city was given a ranking score from 1 to 16 for each of the unique data sets investigated, which acted as a points system. The city with the most points on average came out victorious, whilst the least points indicated the least desirable place to live as a motorcyclist.
Is your town or city more biker-friendly than Coventry? Post a comment below.