OXFORD has cemented its status as a cycling hotspot, with new data revealing that the number of residents who regularly ride is triple the national average.

Statistics released by the Department for Transport yesterday showed that between 2016 and 2017, 36.6 per cent of people in Oxford cycled at least once a week.

This compares to a national average of 12 per cent, which the government is trying to improve.

The report relied on data from its own National Travel Survey, which gathered data from thousands of randomly-selected households across the UK, and the Active Lives Survey, the latter of which polled 197,000 adults nationwide.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: "Cycling and walking provide enormous benefits to both public health and the environment, and it is good to see evidence that more people are opting for a more active lifestyle."

The government is encouraging more people to walk and cycle through a new investment strategy worth £1.2bn.

Though the number of regular cyclists in Oxford is high compared to the national average, in July a National Infrastructure Commission report advised the government that £150m must urgently be spent in the city to stop it 'seizing up'.

It suggested the money should be spent on high-quality protected cycle routes including along Botley Road, Banbury Road, the Eastern Arc, Iffley Road and East Oxford, and the Marston cycle path.

The report revealed that 25 per cent of all commuter journeys in Oxford are by bike, but this reliance on cycling was not aided by the road network, which it said was mainly designed for motor vehicles.