Monday, 22 August 2011


The BBC has a report today from the LSE which demonstrates the benefits of cycling to the whole economy in terms of jobs created, manufacturing, taxes paid and perhaps most crucially in the health benefits cycling brings.

I have started cycling to work regularly, though not every day and it remains a bit of a trial at some parts as most motor vehicles retain the view that they own the road. If this is you, have a look at this report and consider that more cycles means fewer cars, so more space for you. More bikes also means less pollution, a healthier population - so lower costs for the NHS and care for older people, fewer road accidents - a possible reduction in the startling statistic of two children on average killed on our roads every single day - and, an esoteric one here, more fun on journeys, from the trip to the local shop for a pint of milk to the commute to work.

And if you thing cycling is not for you, trust me, I'm no Sir Chris Hoy, yet I am currently doing 20 miles most days in relative comfort and with a smile on my face. The beauty of cycling is that it genuinely benefits everyone, including motorists. The problem is that millions of car, van and lorry users refuse to acknowledge this simple truth.

How about a bit of government money for cycling? How about the odd properly built and laid out cycle lane, rather than a wavy white line next to an A road which helpfully points cyclists through every hole and manhole in the road? How about pressure on rail companies to provide proper cycling provision on local routes, rather than treating cyclists as a problem? How about a significant part of the driving test devoted to cycling and the rights of cyclists. How about everyone taking a driving test being required to do an hour's cycle around a local town or city? And how about one of those natty ad campaigns which seek to make cycling normal and acceptable for everyone.

Sheesh, what an idealist...

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