I don’t ride a bike, why should I support measures to boost cycling? @thetimes

  • Jeremy Clarkson
    Even motoring presenter Jeremy Clarkson has previously spoken of the need to redesign roads for bikes BBC
If you are not a regular cyclist, you may ask why you should support proposals to boost investment in safe cycle routes.
More than three quarters of a million people commute to work by bicycle in Britain every day, but you may not be one of them. So why should you care?
Building safer cycle routes would not only benefit those who cycle. It would also encourage hundreds of thousands more people to use their bikes to make short journeys instead of going by car or by train or bus. This would have benefits for motorists, pedestrians, parents, businesses and taxpayers.
It would lead to less congested streets, less overcrowding on public transport, fewer deaths on the road, less NHS money wasted on obesity, a boost for the high street, less pollution, and a more affordable form of transport for those priced out by rising petrol prices and rail fares.
This will only happen if a greater proportion of the existing transport budget is spent on cycling, however.
Around 2 per cent of journeys in Britain are currently made by bike, leaping to more than 50 per cent in parts of Central London at rush hour and more than 10 per cent in towns like Bristol, York, Oxford and Cambridge. Yet less than 1 per cent of the transport budget is spent on cycle provision. A recent pledge from David Cameron to spend £94 million on cycling over the next three years amounts to just 0.2 per cent of the Department for Transport’s budget over the same period.
The 18 recommendations made in the Get Britain Cycling report -outlined here - can transform Britain’s streets and towns for everyone, regardless of whether or not they ride a bike.
Here are some arguments for why non-cyclists would benefit from these recommendations:
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