14 million ready to choose cycling in biggest transport revolution for a generation

By GreaterSport | 17 May 2020 | TAGS: Cycling, active travel

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Up to 14 million UK adults are ready to get on their bikes and spark a transport revolution, says national governing body British Cycling, if towns and cities follow Department for Transport guidance and quickly implement new temporary infrastructure.

As part of its relaunched #ChooseCycling campaign, British Cycling will be introducing new measures to help people and policymakers make the switch, including: interactive tips and videos for prospective cycle commuters; a live webinar for local and regional authorities led by Policy Adviser Chris Boardman; and activating its nationwide network of over 10,000 volunteers to provide support for new riders in their communities.

Following the Prime Minister’s message to the House of Commons last week that “this should be a new golden age for cycling”, and the Department for Transport’s announcement of a £2 billion package of measures to support that ambition last weekend, British Cycling is now ready to play its part in getting Britain cycling.

British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, said:

“Our country is undoubtedly at a crossroads, and we now face a stark choice between the old routine of cars, congestion and pollution or a new future of healthy streets, happy people and cleaner air. All of our research shows that people want to cycle more, and we now urge local authorities to seize the moment and make the most of the support offered by Government.

“Enabling more people to choose cycling is vital if we want to ease pressure on public transport and help those for whom getting around by bike is not an option.

“British Cycling stands ready to support that transformation in any way we can, and we’ll be regularly adding to the measures unveiled today over the coming weeks and months.”

Chris Heaton-Harris, Cycling Minister said:

“Across the country there has been a surge in the numbers of people taking to their bikes over the past few weeks, and I want this trend to continue long after this crisis is over.

“British Cycling’s #ChooseCycling campaign is a fantastic way to get expert tips and advice on cycling. Alongside our record £2 billion investment in active travel, we hope to see even more people cycling than before and helping create a positive, healthy and green legacy.”

Figures taken from British Cycling and HSBC UK’s ‘Cycle Nation Project’ report, show that:

• 28% of the UK adult population – over 14 million people – currently cycle less than once per month and would like to cycle more regularly.

• Increasing cycling to 25% of all journeys in the UK by 2050 could provide over £42 billion in economic benefit.

• Increasing cycling by 3 km per day and walking by 1 km amongst individuals in urban centres in England and Wales could result in £17 billion in savings to the NHS over 20 years.

• Overall cost per kilometre travelled for cycling is less than half that for car journeys.

Luke Harper, Head of British Cycling Partnership at HSBC UK, said:

“Our Cycle Nation Project made crystal clear the economic, health and societal benefits of getting more people cycling, and as Britain emerges from the current crisis we are delighted to see Government and the Department for Transport acknowledge cycling as a fundamental part of the solution.”

Find out more about the Choose Cycling campaign here.

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