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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article20 July 20221 min read

Danish report maps out the problem of 'ghost cycling'

Denmark is one of the most cycling-active nations in Europe. The high cycling volumes in its cities creates a specific relevance to a phenomenon usually known from car traffic: riding against traffic, or in cyclists’ words: ‘ghost cycling’.

A Danish traffic consultancy teamed up with an insurance agency to investigate the problem of ghost cycling.

The report provides valid information for urban planners to increase road safety levels amongst cyclists, and gives good reasons to invest in raising awareness on the risks of ghost cycling. People cycling against traffic are at a 7-times higher risk to end up in a traffic accident than other cyclists.

Most of ghost cycling appears in the morning peak from 7:00 – 9:00 and in the afternoon between 13:00 – 18:00 right at the time of general cycling volume peaks.

The average profile of a ghost cyclist is man aged 18 to 29, not wearing a helmet and in a hurry to get to school or work.

The study was nationwide, but most observations came from Aarhus. The city’s most extreme ghost cycling case is a boulevard that sees every fifth cyclist going in the wrong direction in morning traffic. This is because the road is very wide and difficult to cross due to parking in the central terrace, and  housing, businesses and educational institutions are located on the same side of the road.


Photo Credit: BCCWM © / - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.

Article published first at on 10 June 2022.



Publication date
20 July 2022
  • Policy and research
  • Walking and cycling
  • Denmark