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Cycling will save NHS £2.5bn and boost the economy by £830m, says Cyclescheme report

Even further potential savings predicted as 27% consider first cycle commute

A £2.5 billion saving to the NHS and an £830 million boost to the British economy is predicted by 2025 if current trends in cycle commuting culture continue, according to a Cyclescheme report.

Far greater savings are also well within the realms of possibility according to the Cycle to Work scheme provider's figures which suggest 27% of the population are prospective first-time commuters.

The Cycling 10:10 report was created to look back over the last decade since Cyclescheme’s inception as well as looking ahead to the state of cycling over the next ten years.

The report explores the impact that the growth in the number of cycle commuters will have on the NHS's finances, and the boost to the economy from a healthier and happier workforce, as well listing the company's top 12 most anticipated technological advancements for the next decade.

Using Office for National Statistics figures, the report indicates that by 2025 there will be 1,226,750 commuters cycling to work. It's pointed out, however, that this prediction does not factor in the Cyclescheme data which says that 27% of the working population are considering their first commute, and one in ten cyclists are encouraging others to cycle to work, a factor which the report suggests could see even greater growth in cycle commuters in the next decade.

The report explores the physical health benefits and subsequent reduced strain on NHS resources that widespread cycle commuting will provide, alongside the improvement in mental health and professional productivity that cycling appears to have on workers.

Improved heart health, obesity prevention, and reduced stress are just a few of the benefits that the NHS suggest cycling regularly can offer. These same benefits are among those which Cyclescheme's report says will reduce the strain on the NHS's costs by £250 million per year over the next decade.

Cyclescheme predict that these improvements will lead to a big boost for the British economy as well as adding over ten million combined healthy years to the nation’s lifespan over the next two decades. 

The claims that the British economy will see an £830 million windfall thanks to growth in the number of workers commuting by bike comes from a January 2015 briefing by the national cycling charity CTC.

That prediction follow on from those also made by the CTC in January that the economy could see a  £248bn boost over the next three and a half decades should the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's recommendations in its 2013 Get Britain Cycling report be implemented.

The effect of technological growth on the nation’s cycling habits is also touched upon in the report. While it doesn't go as far as to make too many suggestions as to how technological improvements will affect the safety of cyclists, it does look ahead to the most exciting technological innovations recently launched or expected over the coming decade.

According to the report, those are:

1. Indestructible bicycle tyres
2. Indicator cycle jacket
3. The Hornit: extra loud bicycle horn
4. Rust-proof bicycles
5. Solar powered electric bicycles
6. Automatic-geared bicycles
7. Bicycle satellite navigation system
8. Augmented reality bicycle glasses
9. Digital padlocks
10. Airbag helmets
11. Foldable e-bikes
12. Lycra alternative; Skin protecting gel

The report was published using statistics from a range of studies undertaken by leading UK cycling organisations, Cyclescheme's own annual survey, and research consultants Populus' February survey.

The report was also based on consultation with British Cycling, sustainable transport charity Sustrans, cycle fashion retailer CycleChic, bike manufacturers Brompton and representatives of the Dutch Embassy and the Danish Cycling Federatoin.

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bikebot | 8 years ago

The innovations list is rather silly, but there's a very sensible and practical list on delivering the cycling vision right at the start of the report.

I think it's worth posting in full.

1. Commit to create a world class cycling infrastructure for the most popular cycle commuter routes by ring-fencing budget of at least £500 million for local authorities in the largest urban areas
2. DfT and local authorities to adopt and implement cycle design standards that meet or exceed the best from the rest of the world, such as the Netherlands
3. The UK’s top 1,000 employers to commit to providing incentives for their staff to cycle to and at work, including showers, bike racks, training and 40p per mile
allowance for business cycling
4. Cycle training to be a mandatory part of the standard UK driving test
5. Cycle training to be a mandatory part of the UK driving test for all commercial vehicle classes
6. All local authorities to ring-fence a percentage of their roads budget for cycling infrastructure
7. More role models cycling to work in normal clothes, including leaders from across the main industry and cultural sectors
8. Government departments, local authorities and public bodies to commit to a target of getting 10% of their staff travelling to work by bike
9. The extension of the cycle to work scheme to include those who are self-employed
10. All new office buildings required to provide cycle parking for a minimum 10% of their staff

Airzound | 8 years ago

Errrr ……….Cyclescheme has a financial interest in more people riding a bike so it is going to talk up the figures. Where I ride I haven't seen fat obese people riding, only fit club riders, and I ride on the GBW which is totally safe, no traffic. There a few more cyclists but no where near as many as this report claims there are. On the roads I see precious few cyclists as it is now so dangerous to ride on them as motons, skip trucks, buses, you name it, DGAF for your safety and neither the police, local authorities or politicians do either. It's crap. It will ever be thus. It's the UK, the worst place to cycle in the developed world and probably the 3rd world as well. If you value your life don't ride on the roads in the UK. To stay fit go running, swimming or play any other sport and eat sensibly. Cycling is not the panacea to obesity. You could end up dead which I suppose statistically you would not be a drain on the NHS which would please government bean counters.

CumbrianDynamo | 8 years ago

And if you want to read the full report:

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