Benefits of bikes for towns and local government

Why should we get everyone cycling? Because bikes tick all the boxes.

It looks better

  • Getting around by bicycle keep you in shape. -> Lower rates of obesity. -> Better-looking population. -> More attractive place to live.
  • Bikes take up very little space. -> More efficient land use.

It smells better

  • Bikes emit no fumes. -> Reduced air pollution. -> Lower healthcare costs & higher quality of life.

It’s quiet

  • Bikes are nearly silent, except the polite tinkle of the bell and the occasional wolf whistle as you pass. -> Lower noise pollution. -> Better quality of life in the area & more affordable housing prices. (Studies show housebuyers higher prices to escape or dampen the sound of traffic noise.)

It feels better

  • Exercise improves your psychological well-being. -> Less stress and depression. -> Lower healthcare costs & higher quality of life.
  • Bikes keep you in shape. (A regular cyclist can be as fit as someone 10 years younger.) -> Lower rates of heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases.

“It has been estimated that if the use of cycles in Britain matched that currently in Denmark, savings in health and pollution costs would amount to approximately £1.8 billion a year.” – British Medical Journal

It costs less

  • Quality bike infrastructure costs a fraction car infrastructure. -> Free up funds. -> More efficient use of finances
  • The running costs of a bike make it affordable to all. A perfectly democratic form of transport.

It’s good for business, for businesses, and for the community

  • Bikes take up very little space. -> Reduced congestion. -> Less productivity lost to lateness.
  • Bikes keep you in shape. -> Fewer sick days. -> Lower healthcare costs & higher quality of life. Less time lost to absense from work.
  • Cyclists tend to use local shops and facilities rather than distant hypermarkets. -> Better for local economy, local community, local post office, leisure facilities, etc.
  • Regular exercise reduces criminal behaviour and increases academic achievement. -> More attractive place to live.
  • Cycling (and walking) reduces social exclusion. -> Stronger sense of community. Better mental health
  • Rather than being anonymous in your box in a queue, on a bike people notice you. And say hi. -> Good for community spirit.

It’s safer

  • Cars kill people. Bicycles don’t. (I suppose in theory they could – if you dropped one on someone from really high up perhaps.) Moreover, loads of real-world evidence shows that the more people cycle, the lower the risk of injury to people on bikes.

“A motorist is less likely to collide with a person walking and bicycling if more people walk or bicycle. Policies that increase the numbers of people walking and bicycling appear to be an effective route to improving the safety of people walking and bicycling.” – British Medical Journal

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