Investing in cycling pays big dividends, say experts

'This one runs on fat & saves you money' by Peter Drew of Adelaide

In a blistering attack on the Coalition Government’s expected abolition of Cycling England – a move that also puts at risk Bikeability cycle training – author and journalist Christian Wolmar urges transport minister Norman Baker to “stand up for what you believe in” and not risk being a “collaborator” with the Tories.

Wolmar is a member of the Cycling England board and wouldn’t want to rock any boats. His strongly-worded attack is clear evidence that Cycling England is very likely to be abolished in the forthcoming “killing of the quangos.”

Wolmar chides Baker: “Now don’t start blustering that cycling will be safe without Cycling England or a properly-funded successor body. It won’t. The new fund is not due to start till 2012 anyway, and Cycling England’s money runs out in 2011. Giving ‘freedom’ to local authorities with less money and no precise remit to spend it on cycling will result in more kids failing to learn to ride. Many will be unhealthier and fatter and our roads will be clogged with more parents driving their kids around everywhere. Make no mistake – your decision will affect real lives.”

Strong stuff.

While Cycling England faces the chop (a website has been created to try and prevent this – SaveCyclingEngland.org), it’s very possible that the Coalition Government will wheel out its Big Society idea and say that cycle funding should be decided locally, and national schemes run by bodies independent of the Government. Of course, three such bodies spring to mind: CTC, British Cycling and Sustrans.

All would angle for cash to carry on the work of Cycling England. None can be seen to be pre-pitching for such work. All are agreed that cycling has clear economic benefits to society.

Sustrans has issued a statement pointing out the economic benefits of cycling, headlined ‘The National Cycle Network – a solution to government spending dilemma.’

Tomorrow Sustrans celebrates 15 years of the National Cycle Network. In 2009 the Network carried 407 million cycling and walking journeys, and helped at least two million people be more active. The health benefit of walking and cycling journeys on the Network in 2009 is estimated at £384 million. If each of thosejourneys replaced a car trip the potential carbon savings were worth £32 million, said Sustrans.

“Given that the current costs of inactivity are set at £760 million per annum the National Cycle Network is a cost-effective solution, with the health benefits of people cycling on it adding up to £288 million pa,” said Sustrans.

“Building a mile of walking and cycling path costs as little as £150,000 compared to £10.6 million for a mile of road. And for every pound spent building new walking and cycling routes we get £4 back, primarily thanks to the improved health of those able to get out more under their own steam.”

Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive said: “With public spending at a crossroads we have a unique opportunity to save on transport budgets and give people more choice on how they travel.

“Our work shows just how easy it is for people to make different travel choices if they are given the opportunity. With more investment in extending travel choice, we could double the number of local trips being made on foot, bike and public transport in the next ten years, and reap the huge benefits (and savings) of reduced congestion and CO2 emissions, more active lifestyles and more pleasant neighbourhoods.”

On 11th September 1995, an award from the Millennium Commission enabled Sustrans to embark on the first 2,500 miles of a 6,500 mile National Cycle Network. The Network now extends to just over 12,600 miles and carries one million walking and cycling journeys every day.

London’s Cycle Hire scheme is huge success, says Boris

LondonCycleHire  13280

Around 18,500 journeys a day are now being made on London’s iconic blue bikes, said a statement from Transport for London.

Less than six weeks since the Mayor, Barclays and TfL launched London’s “new public transport system”, over 80,000 people have signed up as members of the scheme, making more than 500,000 journeys between them.

While nicknamed ‘Boris Bikes’, the cycle rental scheme was actually the idea of the previous administration.

The popularity of the bank-sponsored scheme means that around 18,500 journeys are now being made every weekday by Barclays Cycle Hire bikes, despite the system currently being available to members only. On 7th September thousands of cycle hire members used the scheme to beat the strike, making a record 24,500 journeys between them.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: “It’s an incredible achievement that cycle hire scheme members have already made half a million journeys, less than six weeks since the scheme launched. Our glorious blue bikes have transformed the city’s streets, and are leading the charge in the two wheeled cycling revolution that is taking place in the Capital.

“Having a key to this scheme is just like having the keys to the city itself, and our pioneering members are embracing the scheme and the freedom it offers them in their tens of thousands.”

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Around 93 per cent of all journeys made by Barclays Cycle Hire members have been under 30 minutes, which means that the vast majority of people using the scheme aren’t paying any more than their daily £1, weekly £5 or annual £45 access fees.”

Barclays Cycle Hire is due to be opened up to casual users and visitors later this year. In the meantime, anyone who has a UK bank or credit card account can sign up to use the scheme, for as little as £4 – the total cost of a membership key and an initial 24 hour membership. People who sign up for a daily membership can choose to auto-renew, which means they can start a new 24 hour hire period whenever they want, by simply inserting their cycle hire key into a docking point and taking a bike.

London's Cycle Hire scheme is huge success, says Boris

LondonCycleHire  13280

Around 18,500 journeys a day are now being made on London’s iconic blue bikes, said a statement from Transport for London.

Less than six weeks since the Mayor, Barclays and TfL launched London’s “new public transport system”, over 80,000 people have signed up as members of the scheme, making more than 500,000 journeys between them.

While nicknamed ‘Boris Bikes’, the cycle rental scheme was actually the idea of the previous administration.

The popularity of the bank-sponsored scheme means that around 18,500 journeys are now being made every weekday by Barclays Cycle Hire bikes, despite the system currently being available to members only. On 7th September thousands of cycle hire members used the scheme to beat the strike, making a record 24,500 journeys between them.

Mayor Boris Johnson said: “It’s an incredible achievement that cycle hire scheme members have already made half a million journeys, less than six weeks since the scheme launched. Our glorious blue bikes have transformed the city’s streets, and are leading the charge in the two wheeled cycling revolution that is taking place in the Capital.

“Having a key to this scheme is just like having the keys to the city itself, and our pioneering members are embracing the scheme and the freedom it offers them in their tens of thousands.”

David Brown, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Around 93 per cent of all journeys made by Barclays Cycle Hire members have been under 30 minutes, which means that the vast majority of people using the scheme aren’t paying any more than their daily £1, weekly £5 or annual £45 access fees.”

Barclays Cycle Hire is due to be opened up to casual users and visitors later this year. In the meantime, anyone who has a UK bank or credit card account can sign up to use the scheme, for as little as £4 – the total cost of a membership key and an initial 24 hour membership. People who sign up for a daily membership can choose to auto-renew, which means they can start a new 24 hour hire period whenever they want, by simply inserting their cycle hire key into a docking point and taking a bike.

London’s Cycle Hire scheme goes live

It’s billed as “London’s newest public transport system” and this morning at 6am 5000 hire bikes were placed in 315 docking stations across the Capital. The Barclays Cycle Hire bikes will be available for walk-up rental later in the year; undocking currently requires membership. More than 12,000 members have signed up to date, with over 6000 keys activated online.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the hire scheme at 8am. He heralded a “new dawn” in London’s bid to become the greatest big cycling city in the world as he launched the “jewel in the crown” of London’s cycling revolution. The scheme was first proposed by the previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, but Boris Johnson is keen for the pro-cycling initiative to be associated with his name.

Docking one of thousands of new bicycles at a Barclays Cycle Hire station in the shadow of the London Eye, the Mayor was joined by Marcus Agius, the Chairman of the scheme’s sponsor Barclays, and London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week bikes can be picked up and dropped off at stations raning from Notting Hill Gate to Wapping, and from Regents Park to Borough Market. Londoners using the scheme can from today take a cycle from one of 315 docking stations based every 300 metres or so throughout the centre of the Capital, with a total of 5000 bikes available to begin with.

The bikes are already being used as political statements, with campaigners adding cutting comments to the Barclays logo.

Speaking at the launch event this morning Boris Johnson, said: “Londoners have awoken to a new dawn for the bicycle in the Capital. Overnight racks have been filled with thousands of gleaming machines that will transform the look and feel of our streets and become as commonplace on our roads as black cabs and red buses. My crusade for the Capital to become the greatest big cycling city in the world has taken a gigantic pedal powered push forwards.”

Barclays Chairman, Marcus Agius, said: “Barclays Cycle Hire is a flagship scheme that will change the face of London forever. We believe there are huge benefits for the public in a low cost, affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly scheme. It will introduce thousands of people to one of the cleanest, greenest and quickest ways of navigating the city.

“An extensive transport system with good accessibility is also essential to the health of London’s economy. By improving London’s transport capacity we will help the Capital attract investment and jobs. We are committed to working alongside Transport for London to ensure that the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme is successful, and are proud to be part of the cycling revolution.”

Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, said: “We expect this fantastic new scheme to generate up to 40,000 new cycle journeys every day in London as the Capital’s cycle revolution rolls on. I have no doubt that Barclays Cycle Hire will change how people get around central London. In the week since we opened membership, more than 12,000 people have already signed up to use the scheme, which demonstrates the tremendous support and enthusiasm there is for it. This can only build as Londoners and visitors explore the opportunities having access to thousands of bicycles for just pennies a day will bring.

“A huge amount of work and planning has gone into creating what we believe will be the best cycle hire system in the world. Building on the experience of other world cities who have launched similar schemes, we and our operator, Serco, will use the first month of operation to see how, when and where our members use the scheme, to learn how we can best support our customers.”

Londoners or visitors to the Capital who want to use central London’s brand new transport system during its first month of operation need to be members of the cycle hire scheme. This will enable TfL and Serco to understand and learn from how members engage with the scheme, including patterns of bicycle usage.

A membership key costs £3 with membership costs at £1 for a 24 hour membership, £5 for seven days and £45 for an annual membership. The first 30 minutes of any journey will be free. To use the scheme, members will need to have received and activated their membership key.

London's Cycle Hire scheme goes live

It’s billed as “London’s newest public transport system” and this morning at 6am 5000 hire bikes were placed in 315 docking stations across the Capital. The Barclays Cycle Hire bikes will be available for walk-up rental later in the year; undocking currently requires membership. More than 12,000 members have signed up to date, with over 6000 keys activated online.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, officially opened the hire scheme at 8am. He heralded a “new dawn” in London’s bid to become the greatest big cycling city in the world as he launched the “jewel in the crown” of London’s cycling revolution. The scheme was first proposed by the previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, but Boris Johnson is keen for the pro-cycling initiative to be associated with his name.

Docking one of thousands of new bicycles at a Barclays Cycle Hire station in the shadow of the London Eye, the Mayor was joined by Marcus Agius, the Chairman of the scheme’s sponsor Barclays, and London’s Transport Commissioner, Peter Hendy.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week bikes can be picked up and dropped off at stations raning from Notting Hill Gate to Wapping, and from Regents Park to Borough Market. Londoners using the scheme can from today take a cycle from one of 315 docking stations based every 300 metres or so throughout the centre of the Capital, with a total of 5000 bikes available to begin with.

The bikes are already being used as political statements, with campaigners adding cutting comments to the Barclays logo.

Speaking at the launch event this morning Boris Johnson, said: “Londoners have awoken to a new dawn for the bicycle in the Capital. Overnight racks have been filled with thousands of gleaming machines that will transform the look and feel of our streets and become as commonplace on our roads as black cabs and red buses. My crusade for the Capital to become the greatest big cycling city in the world has taken a gigantic pedal powered push forwards.”

Barclays Chairman, Marcus Agius, said: “Barclays Cycle Hire is a flagship scheme that will change the face of London forever. We believe there are huge benefits for the public in a low cost, affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly scheme. It will introduce thousands of people to one of the cleanest, greenest and quickest ways of navigating the city.

“An extensive transport system with good accessibility is also essential to the health of London’s economy. By improving London’s transport capacity we will help the Capital attract investment and jobs. We are committed to working alongside Transport for London to ensure that the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme is successful, and are proud to be part of the cycling revolution.”

Peter Hendy, Commissioner of Transport for London, said: “We expect this fantastic new scheme to generate up to 40,000 new cycle journeys every day in London as the Capital’s cycle revolution rolls on. I have no doubt that Barclays Cycle Hire will change how people get around central London. In the week since we opened membership, more than 12,000 people have already signed up to use the scheme, which demonstrates the tremendous support and enthusiasm there is for it. This can only build as Londoners and visitors explore the opportunities having access to thousands of bicycles for just pennies a day will bring.

“A huge amount of work and planning has gone into creating what we believe will be the best cycle hire system in the world. Building on the experience of other world cities who have launched similar schemes, we and our operator, Serco, will use the first month of operation to see how, when and where our members use the scheme, to learn how we can best support our customers.”

Londoners or visitors to the Capital who want to use central London’s brand new transport system during its first month of operation need to be members of the cycle hire scheme. This will enable TfL and Serco to understand and learn from how members engage with the scheme, including patterns of bicycle usage.

A membership key costs £3 with membership costs at £1 for a 24 hour membership, £5 for seven days and £45 for an annual membership. The first 30 minutes of any journey will be free. To use the scheme, members will need to have received and activated their membership key.