New Vision for Cycling: Doubling the Benefits
The case for cycling
Cycling supports competitiveness and productivity
- Cycling makes extremely efficient and economical use of road-space. One lane of a typical road can accommodate 2,000 cars per hour – or 14,000 cycles.
- Encouraging cycling also makes workers more productive and reduces the costs of absenteeism, ill health and air pollution. It also frees up pressure to provide valuable urban land as car parking space.
Cycling tackles climate change
- A person making the average daily commute of 4 miles each way would save half a tonne of carbon dioxide if they switched from driving to cycling per year.
- If we doubled cycle use by switching from cars, this would reduce Britain’s total greenhouse emissions by 0.6 million tonnes, almost as much as switching all London-to-Scotland air travel to rail.
Cycling improves health
- Cycling contributes to weight loss, burning about 5 calories a minute.
- A regular cyclist in mid-adulthood is typically as fit as someone 10 years younger and can expect to live 2 years longer than the average. 
Cycling makes life safer for all
- Cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are. Research has shown that a doubling in cycling makes cycling 34% less risky.
- Mile for mile or trip for trip, cyclists are involved in far fewer injuries to other road users than motorists and the consequences are far less likely to be serious or fatal.
- Getting people out of cars and on to cycles would therefore improve road safety for all.
Cycling promotes equality of opportunity
- The wealthiest 20% of people typically travel 4.5 times farther by car and rail than the poorest 20%. However, when it comes to cycle use, this gap is more than halved – the wealthiest cycle just twice as far as the poorest.
Cycling is good for our quality of life and the natural environment
- As zero-emission vehicles, cycles reduce levels of harmful pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen. Cycles also make little noise.
- Instead of streets filled with cars, cycle-friendly town centres are far more attractive both for shopping and relaxing. You can park 10 bikes in the space required for one car.