Our very own Craig Goff-Cooper stars in Sustrans Bike Life 2019, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to share some hard-hitting stats for you to share to those sceptics.
Cities across Europe cycle to commute, meet friends and to day to day errands. In Copenhagen, 62% of people commute by bike. In Tyneside only 2.3% cycle 5 or more days per week as transport.
I hear you say “But we are very different from Copenhagen!” This is true but why can’t we be more like them? Cycling is consistently proven to offer benefits for the economy, health, environment and congestion.
We don’t want to bog you down with too many stats but here are the key points based on current cycling/health facts:
- Cycling prevents 277 serious long term health conditions per year in Tyneside. Saving our NHS £1.8 million and 59,000 GP appointments
- Cycling saves 9,400 tonnes of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide annually in Tyneside. Which is equivalent to 20,000 people taking flights to Tenerife
- There is 95p net benefit for every mile cycled instead of driven. Adding up to £58.8 million saved.
All from 2.3% of Tyneside’s population cycling every day.
Imagine if we doubled it
Or multiplied it by ten. The results from Tyneside alone would be astounding.
“But how can we get more people cycling?”
Well according to Sustrans 25% of those who don’t cycle would like to start. But they are put off poor safety, weather and infrastructure.
Weather – We can’t help the weather but neither can Amsterdam or Copenhagen. In Copenhagen they experience 171 days versus our 122 days in Tyneside.
Infrastructure – 62% of people in Tyneside want better infrastructure, segregated cycle paths – even if it means less room for cars.
So thats the issue?
The BIG problem is authorities are hesitant to build these paths as there aren’t enough cyclists. It’s a Chicken and Egg scenario. We need to show them that there are enough cyclists to justify the paths.
Think of cycling as a form of protest. A way to show our governments that there are enough cyclists. While you are protesting you are saving money, getting fit and playing your part in reducing your carbon footprint.