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Delayed Government cycling plan could be worth £6bn annually by 2025 - if it invests now

Delayed Government cycling plan could be worth £6bn annually by 2025 - if it invests now

Research from the universities of Leeds and Cambridge has revealed boosting cycle use in England could be worth as much as £6bn annually by 2025 in health benefits alone.

The study has been published as MPs question the Government’s plans to boost cycling and walking in a parliamentary debate on Thursday 16 October.

Commissioned by CTC, the national cycling charity, the research also suggests that health benefits could rise to £25bn annually by 2050, but only if much more money is spent on cycling now. Investment is needed in better infrastructure, training and projects such as the Cycle Share scheme in London.

Dr Robin Lovelace, of the School of Geography at the University of Leeds, and Dr James Woodcock, of Cambridge University, have released their preliminary findings of the study to quantify the health benefits of cycling if Government meets targets proposed by the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s “Get Britain Cycling” inquiry in 2013.

The ‘microsimulation’ model operates at the level of individual trips and allows identification of current trips most likely to switch to bicycle in the future.

Further significant benefits, which are still being quantified, would come from reduced congestion, pollution and greenhouse emissions.

For further details, visit the CTC website.

For further information

Dr Robin Lovelace is available for interview, contact the University of Leeds press office on 0113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk

The CTC Press Office can be contacted on 0844 736 8453, 07786320713 or email jacqui.shannon@ctc.org.uk.

Full report of these preliminary findings: http://robinlovelace.net/publications/health-benefits-cycling-uptake.pdf

Read the House of Commons debate here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm141016/debtext/141016-0002.htm#14101661000001

Read Robin's article on The Conversation here: https://theconversation.com/hint-of-proper-funding-for-cycling-but-we-must-fight-for-it-with-evidence-33152

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