Recent research looking at Barcelona’s bike share scheme Bicing http://www.bicing.cat/ has found that the scheme managed to save 12.28 lives each year. ECF Policy Officer Ceri Woolsgrove reports...
There were an estimated 0.03 deaths from road traffic incidents and 0.13 deaths arising from the air pollution that cyclists suck in from the roads. However the health benefits, as a result of the increased physical activity, lead to 12.46 deaths being avoided. Therefore the annual number of deaths avoided in total was the second minus the third leaving: leaving a whopping 12.28.
This is a huge benefit, we had originally thought that the benefit:risk ratio of cycling compared with the risks from inhalation of air pollutants and road traffic incidents of cycling was approximately 20:1. With this new study, if we assume that cycling is synonymous with using a bicycling scheme then these figures seem to suggest that the ratio of the benefits to risk of cycling is nearer to 77:1.
Not only does the scheme benefit the lives of those who directly use them but the research also found that the scheme managed to save 9062 metric tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. As my Colleague Benoit Blondel has argued elsewhere (http://www.ecf.com/4514_1), the bicycle can be a major contributor to CO2 reduction and improving the lives of all residents of the Global Commons.
There is no need for motorists to send in their thanks to cyclists for improving their quality of life and that of their families, just cut your speed and give us room on the roads!