The national report which was commissioned by Sustrans reveals there were 40 million extra journeys made on bike in 2011 than in the previous year, the biggest ever increase at 18 percent.
Released to celebrate the start of Bike Week 2012, the report also highlights the fact that 484 million journeys were made by bike or foot on the network of paths and quiet streets in 2011. This bucks the trend of a national decline in cycling and walking on roads, as reported by National Statistics.
The report also states that:
- A third of cyclists now using the National Cycle Network could have driven but chose not to, relieving 52 million car journeys from already-congested roads;
- The health benefit of the National Cycle Network adds up to £442 million per year;
- Growing numbers of people in the UK live within a mile of the National Cycle Network – currently 60%;
- Women made a quarter of all cycling trips on the National Cycle Network, a 14 per cent increase on the previous year;
- More than 25 per cent of National Cycle Network users are over 55 years old.
In terms of financial costs, traffic-free walking and cycling routes pay back four times more than they cost in less than ten years, which is a much higher return on investment than other forms of transport.
Sustrans is calling on the UK Government to recognise the economic benefits of cycling and walking, and invest heavily to help counter rising levels of obesity and sky rocketing petrol prices.
Bike Week 2012 is a national celebration of cycling running from Saturday, June 16th to Sunday, June 24th. The aim is to get more people cycling more often. For details of Bike Week events visit www.bikeweek.org.uk.
The National Travel Survey for Great Britain 2010 can be accessed and downloaded online.
Further information: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/assets/files/Press/real-cycling-revolution.pdf