Increasing the number of people who cycle rather than drive short distances is not just a bee in Dynamo’s bonnet. It is actually local and national policy.
The Lancaster district is perfectly suited to increasing cycling and walking (give or take a couple of hills and a fair amount of rain!). One of the most interesting statistics to come out of the Transport Masterplan meetings was that nearly 83% of locally-employed people also live in the area, thus making cycling a viable choice for commuting to work.
So, here are some “objective” reasons why cycling matters:
- Improve air quality by reducing traffic-related pollution.
- Tackle climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
- Reduce traffic congestion by using less road space.
- Improve public health by keeping people active in everyday life.
- Make our cities and towns pleasanter by reducing traffic noise and pollution.
- Improve road safety by slowing speeds.
- The economic argument for cycling – cycling investment has high benefit-to-cost ratios compared with road schemes.
- Equality of opportunity – cycling can provide independent travel for all ages and all socio-economic groups without barriers.
- Alternative to big road building – a small country can’t expand its infrastructure indefinitely.
There is also, of course the “subjective” side of cycling: the enjoyment of being outdoors and active, of cycle-touring, of racing, of knowing exactly how long your journey will take – you’ll have your own reasons.
- Public Health England – evidence on what works in keeping people active
- Lancashire County Council’s Local Transport Plan 2011-2021
- Department for Transport economic case for boosting sustainable travel
- CTC briefing paper