Town-Wide Cycling Initiatives

The EU journal  Science for Environment Policy has just reported on a large-scale study in the UK.   


Cycling to work can have multiple benefits, improving health as well as reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by replacing car journeys. Programmes to encourage urban populations to cycle, such as providing effective cycle lanes, have shown promising results. However, there have been few robust, large-scale studies to examine the true efficacy of such schemes. In this study, researchers examined the effects of cycling initiatives on the behaviour of 1.3 million commuters in 18 towns and cities in the UK. 

They found increases in the incidence of both walking and cycling, and a reduction in car usage, in towns where investment had been made in infrastructure, such as cycle parking and lanes, with promotional campaigns and cycle training.  

Importantly, the increases were strongest in those towns where attention is also given to workplace measures such as bike lockers, showers and cycle parking. 

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