Last year saw an extra 50 million journeys made on the National Cycle Network, a 7% increase on 2012, according to our report released today.
The report, ‘Millions of people on the move’, reveals that walkers and cyclists made 748 million journeys on the National Cycle Network in 2013, delivering an overall benefit of £1 billion to the UK economy, including;
- £803 million health benefits derived from physical activity
- Potential petrol savings for individuals valued at almost £215m
- £25 million worth of potential carbon saving as a result of journeys made solely on foot and bike.
Over a third of users of the National Cycle Network could have driven but chose not to, helping to ease congestion by saving 157 million car journeys.
Traffic-free walking and cycling routes often generate ten times more than they cost in less than ten years – a much higher return on investment than other forms of transport.
We are calling on governments to recognise the economic benefits of cycling and walking and dedicate £10 per head per year to help turn the tide on rising levels of physical inactivity.
Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans Chief Executive said: “Official data shows levels of cycling and walking to be in long term decline, but year on year we are seeing increases in the number of people taking to the National Cycle Network both by bike and foot.
“The rise in the number of people using the National Cycle Network shows that there is a demand for safe, convenient and welcoming walking and cycling routes but too many people still feel threatened by traffic danger on the roads.
“Governments must match this demand with dedicated funding to walking and cycling and by reducing traffic speeds on our roads to create the kind of environment which encourages people to leave the car at home.
“Walking and cycling has the potential to be a silver bullet for the UK’s health as well as delivering billions of pounds in economic benefits but we urgently need safer roads to make this happen.”