Encouraging cycling - economic case for cycling

פורסם: 20 באוג׳ 2009, 6:36 על ידי: Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 23 בפבר׳ 2011, 23:23 ]
Published: March 2009
Encouraging cycling
Cycling England has been awarded a budget of £140m until 2011. Its chairman, Phillip Darnton, makes an economic case for cycling

ImageCycling makes sense – for individuals and for whole communities – and there is a growing recognition that cycling contributes to tackling some of the most intractable challenges facing the UK today: traffic congestion, obesity and climate change.
While there is a growing recognition of the contribution cycling can make, it is still far from a mainstream mode of transport. For cycling to compete effectively with investment in other transport modes requires robust evidence on the performance and benefits of cycling investments. Quite simply, until the benefits of cycling are properly taken into account, we will systematically under-invest in cycling at both national and local level

Supporting research
To address this, over the last two years Cycling England has commissioned two substantial pieces of research to make a strong economic case for cycling.
Our first report, ‘Valuing the Benefits of Cycling’, placed for the first time an economic value on each additional cyclist in England. We worked with specialist economic consultancy SQW to identify the savings that would accrue from improvements in health and reductions in congestion and pollution that could be quantified in monetary terms.
The economic modelling identified that the benefits of more people cycling are both significant and quantifiable: a 20 per cent increase in cycling by 2012 would release a cumulative saving of £500m by 2015, and an increase of 50 per cent would create total savings of more than £1.3bn. 
The research helped us make a strong case to the government for more investment in cycling and in recognition, across government, of the contribution cycling can make to health and the environment. And due to the positive progress made in 2008, Cycling England was awarded a budget of £140m until 2011.
The government’s decision to allocate this level of investment showed us that the political will existed to deliver more ambitious, scaled-up cycling projects – if strong evidence pointed to a tangible return that will have a substantial impact on individuals, communities and the environment.

Planning for cycling
Top-level political support is one thing; getting things right on the ground is quite another. 
Government policy already encourages local authorities to include cycling in the planning process through Planning Policy Guidance 13: Transport 7 (PPG13). But an analysis of the first round of Local Transport Plans (LTPs), running from 2001/02 to 2005/06, showed cycling to be below targets or expectations. Only 25 per cent of local authorities were considered to be ‘on track’ to achieve their core cycling targets.
Our second report therefore sought to make the case for a fundamental rethink in the way local authorities plan cycling. The ‘Planning for Cycling’ report, also carried out with SQW, demonstrates that new cycling infrastructure pays for itself when designed and planned properly, and shows how local authority planners can apply conventional cost benefit modelling to ensure a better return on investment for every pound spent on cycling. The report makes the first economic case for cycling to be an automatic consideration as part of the planning process; by valuing the benefits of attracting additional cyclists, planners can raise the profile of cycling in the planning process. 
‘Planning for Cycling’ presents for the first time a Cycling Planning Model (CPM) that will help local planners to better assess the number of additional cyclists required to generate a return on investment. The model shows how a surprisingly small number of additional cyclists will pay for investment in new cycling infrastructure. The model suggests that an investment of £10,000 requires one additional regular cyclist, while an investment of £100,000 requires 11 additional regular cyclists 1
Until now, the lack of information like this has meant that the benefits of cyclists are too often ignored in transport planning. Our hope is that the CPM will help give local authorities a clearer sense of the return on investment build cycling can deliver and will allow planners to adopt the same rigour in evaluating cycling projects as they apply when considering other forms of transport investment. It is unlikely, for example, that new roads, or other forms of transport investment would go ahead without an assessment of their usefulness and value for money. 

Getting results
All evidence points to the fact that investing in cycling brings results. Our Cycling Towns project, for example, is already showing promising increases in cycling levels as a result of providing European levels of funding for cycling promotion and infrastructure in 18 towns and cities across England. 
Making cycling an automatic consideration in the planning process will give millions more people across England the chance to experience the benefits of cycling: improved health, quieter roads, cleaner air and the exhilarating feeling of freedom and independence that cycling brings. And as more and more local authorities realise these benefits and get behind cycling, we will have a real opportunity to make a fundamental change to the way we travel. 

1 This research defines regular cycling as three times a week and measures the impact across the lifetime of a project – in this study assumed to be 30 years.

Source: http://www.governmentbusiness.co.uk/content/view/1699/1/

Power Point Presentation of the resarch - here