Your cycling fallacy is…
Good cycling infrastructure does cost money, but it is incorrect to say it is a large amount in the scope of overall transport spending, or that it is a poor return on investment. Cycling infrastructure has been shown to pay back to society more than it costs – a 2014 UK government report cited returns of between 2:1 and 35:1.
Other countries demonstrate returns of 10 times or higher, and London’s transport authority reports ratios of 20:1 for cycling investment.
Whilst many of the UK figures are for ‘general’ investment in cycling (i.e. including training, etc.) the higher cost of cycling infrastructure is still justified because of the additional numbers drawn to cycling by the provision of safe places to cycle.
The Netherlands spends €500m per year on cycling infrastructure, which generates €31bn in health benefits alone – a 60:1 return on investment.
- The Value of Cycling (Survey Report) from Department for Transport (UK)
- 6,500 early deaths prevented annually in NL due to cycling levels from Universiteit Utrecht
- Cycle paths are “too expensive” from A View From The Cycle Path
- Cycling infrastructure is cheaper to build than not to build from A View From The Cycle Path
- Value for money assessment for cycling grants from Department for Transport (UK)
- Delivering the benefits of cycling in Outer London from Transport for London
- Cyclists are ill less often – Dutch companies gain competitive advantage from A View From The Cycle Path
- Cycling infrastructure is cheaper to build than not to build, part two. from A View From The Cycle Path
- Benefit of building space for cycling far outweighs cost, says DfT from Road.cc