The #ChooseCycling Manifesto

New research details health benefits of cycling and the #choosecycling manifesto is launched.

New research commissioned by British Cycling was published last week detailing the health benefits of cycling.

Family Bike Ride on the Beach

Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The research showed that if people replaced just five minutes of the average 36 minutes that they spend in a car each day with cycling there would be an almost 5% annual reduction the health burden from inactivity-related illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

If 10% of trips in England and Wales were made by bikes, the savings to the NHS could reach £250 million per year. (source: britishcycling.org.uk)

This news was used to launch a new manifesto ” #ChooseCycling ” that details how the government should prioritise cycling as a mode of transport, holding the Netherlands and Denmark up as examples of what to aspire to.

Ten points were included in the manifesto, which not only focused on the health benefits, but also the necessity to improve road safety for all users—something that we regularly discuss on our blog here at NW Law.

Only last week we heard the tragic news of the deaths of a young student on Wilmslow Road in Manchester after a collision with a cement mixer and a man in Widnes following a hit and run incident.

Jason WiltshireOur cycling expert Jason Wiltshire had the following to say on keeping safe on the roads:

“Both drivers and cyclists need to look out for each other on the road. We have recently seen the addition of convex mirrors at traffic lights. These will help large vehicles to spot cyclists that are coming alongside them in cycle lanes.”

“Even bearing those in mind, I would never advocate going on the inside left of a large vehicle. Warning signs are now being displayed on many vehicles and cyclists should heed them.”

“Drivers should also be aware that encroaching in to the advanced “green box” area reserved for cyclists can cause problems.”

Supporting the #ChooseCycling manifesto, British Cycling’s policy adviser and Olympic gold medallist, Chris Boardman, said:

“Britain is now one of the most successful cycling nations in the world. How can we be getting it so right in terms of elite success but still be failing to truly embed cycling as an everyday part of British culture? This research demonstrates that the impact of more cycling would have positive effects for everyone.”

“In the 1970s, the Netherlands made a conscious choice to put people first and make cycling and walking their preferred means of transport. It is no coincidence that they are also one of the healthiest and happiest nations in the world. Local and national government needs to wake up and realise that cycling is the solution to so many of the major problems Britain is now facing.”

Image of a bicycle lane

Image courtesy of antpkr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The issue of safety is never very far from the forefront of this debate, though. Dr James Woodcock, a senior researcher at Cambridge University said:

“To make cycling a mass activity in Britain, as it is in the Netherlands, is going to require both environments that make cyclists feel safe and a culture that says cycling is a normal way for people to get around – whatever their age.”

For more information on the #ChooseCycling manifesto, see www.britishcycling.org.uk

For more information on cycling accidents and how the experts at NW Law can help you if you have had a cycling accident, see http://www.blog.nwlaw.co.uk/cycling-accidents/ or call us for FREE ADVICE.

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