Transport secretary plugs cycling11/06/2009 News
Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said: “Events like Bike Week are a great way of reminding people that cycling can keep you healthy, save money and help reduce congestion, as well as often being the quickest way to get around.
“We’ve invested £140m over three years through Cycling England in cycle demonstration towns, cycle training and support for local authorities to encourage people to enjoy all the benefits cycling brings. If more people were to travel short distances by bike instead of car, the quality of life across our communities could be considerably enhanced.”
The majority of UK residents (69%) commute to work by car and spend almost a total of nine days a year (50 minutes a day) on the road compared to canny cyclists, who only spend seven days (38 minutes a day).
Bike Week, the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event, starts this weekend (13-22 June) and will encourage newbies to boost their confidence on the road and make the shift from four wheels to two by coming along to one of the thousands of events and signing up for a cycle training lesson.
Phillip Darnton, Chairman of Cycling England, says; “We’re blessed with long summer days in the UK, but we spend too much time travelling to and from work – in fact, we have the longest journeys in Europe. During rush-hour, a bicycle is faster than a car so by getting on our bikes, we could cut our commutes and get the equivalent of an extra two days off a year to spend with family and friends and simply enjoy ourselves in the sun.
“With Bike Week coming up, it’s the ideal time to find out how cycling helps you get more out of life whilst saving money, getting fit and cutting pollution at the same time.”
Will Cavendish, Director of Health and Wellbeing at the Department of Health said: “Cycling is a great way to save pounds and shed pounds. Recent Change4Life research shows that ditching the car and getting on two wheels – or two legs – for the school run can save a family up to £367 a year. It is also the perfect way to get children up and about and helping them achieve their recommended 60 active minutes a day.
“Our Bike4Life campaign is running throughout the month of June. Coinciding with Bike Week, it provides a great opportunity for families to try out cycling together and reap the social, financial and health rewards.”
There’s something for everyone during Bike Week, with events across the UK ranging from cycle training and Dr Bike sessions for novices, to commuter challenges and group rides around local cycling routes – almost all are free! To find out what is taking place in your local area, visit bikeweek.org.uk and enter your postcode.
To find your nearest cycle trainer call 0800 849 1017 or look at Bikeability.org.uk.