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Why does cycling matter?

There are many co-benefits to cycling and micromobility- including climate change mitigation, health, social impact, accessibility and equality.

De-Carbonising Transport
  • Transport is responsible for nearly a third of greenhouse gas emissions

  • Almost two-thirds of urban trips are less than 5km, yet more than half of these are travelled by motorised vehicle.

  • Truly sustainable mobility must include a much larger share of cycling - to access public transport, school, work and everyday needs

  • Cycling is the most energy efficient means of transport 

  • Over short distances, cycling, micro-mobility and walking are the most effective way to reduce fossil fuel emissions and consumption

  • Cycling and micro-mobility are a viable solution to improve air quality

  • Over the whole lifecyle of a vehicle, a bicycle use much less materials than other vehicles, including electric cars. A single Tesla long-range battery of 540 kilograms has the same number of cells as around 150 e-bike batteries. 

A chart showing the breakdown of distances travelled in urban areas globally

Source: Partnership for Active Travel and Health, “Make way for walking and cycling” 2022

An older couple are riding bicycles on a pathway through a park with trees
Cycling for Health
  • Cycling and walking are central to a healthy population

  • Cycling 30 minutes per day is enough to reduce the risk of premature death by 20-30%

  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. In 2016, 39% of adults (1.9 billion people) were overweight while a further 13% (650 million people) were obese. This represents a massive global burden on health budgets [Obesity and overweight (]

  • Physical inactivity is a significant factor in the global increase in non-communicable diseases, accounting for approximately 5% of the overall disease burden worldwide.

  • In many countries, particularly developed nations, the majority of the population does not reach the recommended daily physical activity levels.

  • Active transport, such as walking and cycling, are effective at increasing physical activity on a broad scale and lessen the impact of non-communicable diseases.

  • A study in Australia, that took into account all aspects of health, including mental health, found that the economic health value of:

    • a single kilometre walked is US$ 3.65/  Euro 3.35,

    • a single kilometre cycled is USD $1.00/ Euro 0.90 in health benefits

Positive Social Impact
  • Bicycles, scooters, e-scooters and e-bikes are much cheaper than owning cars

  • The Australian Government estimates that the average household cost of car ownership is $10,000 a year - once you take into account the purchase cost, depreciation, interest on a loan, insurance, road tolls, petrol or electricity, maintenance and parking (souce: BITRE)

  • A large percentage of the population can't drive - children, seniors, people living with a disability, people who can't afford a car - as well as people who chose not to drive

  • Cycling and micro-mobility provide equitable access to more economic opportunities for broad cross-section of the community

  • Cycling and micro-mobility increase the catchment of public transport - in the Netherlands around half of all train trips start or end with a bicycle ride

A man is sitting on his bicycle looking pensive. He has a leg replacement.
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