New Vision for Cycling: Doubling the Benefits

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CTC's 'New Vision for Cycling' sets out the benefits which doubling cycling (and halving the risks of cycling) would have.
Over a third of Copenhageners cycle to work - can we achieve the same?
Over a third of Copenhageners cycle to work - can we achieve the same?

The political scene: delivering on cycling?

Sixty years ago cycling made up a third of all the miles travelled by vehicles in Britain.

Per mile travelled cycling was as safe then as it is today. By 1970 the number of miles cycled collapsed to its current level, around 2.75 billion miles per year.

Over the same time period, however, total mileage travelled by other forms of transport has increased by 150%, while driving has become 4.5 times less risky.[12] [13]

This has created busier roads that are less attractive to cycling.

Since then, there have been flickers of a cycling renaissance in the 1970s and 1980s. However, Government targets to quadruple cycling by 2012, set in 1996, were quietly shelved when it became clear these would not be met. It is now vital to build on the recent resurgence of cycling in towns and cities around Britain.

Why CTC believes we could double cycle use in 10 years

We believe evidence shows that a doubling of cycle use in 10 years is entirely achievable, given sufficient political will:

  • In London, cycling increased by 91% in 8 years, with a corresponding decrease of 33% in cycle casualties. The capital now plans to more than quadruple cycle use by 2025.[14] [15]
  • Leicester has increased cycle use by 43% in 4 years, with an 11% reduction in cycle casualties.[16]
  • Western Australia increased cycle use by 82% in 7 years during the 1980s, while reducing hospital admissions by 5%.[17]
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