The future of bicycling in the UK
The future of cycling in the UK was dealt a blow when George Osborne’s Spending Review in January 2016 revealed a new commitment of £300m to cycling investment to 2020/21. This sounds good, but equates to only around £1.40 per person per year in England (outside of London), in contrast, the average investment in the Netherlands is around €30 (£22) per person per year.
By 5 January 2017, London had already breached its annual air pollution limits and other cities will soon follow. Nitrogen dioxide is produced largely by diesel vehicles and causes 9,500 early deaths every year in London. In the same month, scientists also reported that 1-in-10 cases of Alzheimer’s in people living near busy roads could be linked to air pollution.
Business innovators invest in bicycling as the returns are good for them and for their local community. Research shows that for every kilometre cycled, society benefits from a 16p profit, while driving the same distance produces a net loss of 10p.
Cycling also has benefits of increasing fitness and lowering stress levels which leads to increased productivity and fewer sick days by employees. Converting motorists into cyclists reduces congestion on the roads which saves travel time, also increasing business productivity.
Fewer cars also lower CO2 emissions leading to climate change mitigation as well as improving the urban environment as you get less noise, less pollution, and a calmer and more inviting urban space.
More cyclists open up opportunities for more local shops and a more rich local life. The area will gain a reputation for being an attractive to live, attracting further investments and tourists.LEARN MORE
Top business innovators, ranging from retail to tech, have invest in bicycling as a way to boost morale, increase energy efficiency and encourage healthy living and they are reaping the benefits of being a Bicycle Friendly Business.
Business innovators have promoted cycling to their workforce through ‘green’ travel plans, offering a range of tax incentives including the “Cycle to Work” scheme, made a fleet of pool bikes available, supported a workplace “Bicycle Users’ Group”, provided washing, changing and drying facilities, provided safe, secure and convenient cycle parking facilities and more.
The recent niche category of the gravel bike, that can handle rougher roads comfortably highlights an ongoing trend in 2017 for increasing niche builds. Previously there were just road bikes, but now there are climbing bikes, endurance bikes, race bikes, aero bikes and more. The benefits to a hyper-specialized machine including opening up routes from mountain climbs to bike-packing.
Whilst the niche market is building, the trend in 2017 for road bikes also sees the growth in all-purpose bicycle. These bikes are fast, comfortable, benefit from disc brakes and have the ability to run wide tires.
These bikes look more like racing than endurance bikes and by the end of 2017 we should know if these are the solution to increasingly niche build bikes or if they are themselves another niche category.
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