British Cycling has launched a campaign to get more people commuting by bike. Figures from the Office of National Statistics shows that the number of people cycling to work has increased by 17 percent in the last ten years, to over 760,000.
The campaign literature is aspirational: "Life can be complicated. The daily round of work-play-sleep-work can seem like a marathon sometimes. Gridlock. Dodgems. The packed bus. Sardines on the Tube. Stress. Simplify your life – commute by bike."
It continues: "The bicycle is a simple machine. A time machine. It’s reliable, always on time, never cancelled and easily repaired. Your body is the engine. Your breakfast is the fuel."
Most new bike commuters say that it is the financial and health benefits of commuting by bike that first drew them to cycling, says British Cycling.
The financial benefits of commuting by bike compared to motoring are obvious at a time when the AA has again reported that the average cost of a litre of unleaded petrol has reached £1.40.
British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Ian Drake, said:
“I always use my bike as part of my regular journey into the office as it’s a great way to clear my mind before and after a busy day.
“The campaign we’ve launched today is all about showing how simple and easy bike commuting can be. People don’t need an expensive bike or to wear lycra – and cycling to work is a really efficient way of fitting some exercise into your day. The cost of maintaining a bike is negligible in comparison with today’s motor vehicle maintenance and fuel costs.”
British Cycling’s Policy and Legal Affairs Director, Martin Gibbs, said:
“We are working with the government to put cycling at the heart of transport policy as we want to see long-term, sustained planning and investment so that our towns and cities are designed with cycling in mind. The more people that cycle, the more pressure we are putting on the government and local authorities to initiate change.”