Research commissioned by Cycling England, published today, is set to encourage local councils to invest more effectively in cycling, according to Bikeforall.
The findings, made by independent economist SQW, found that by applying cost benefit modelling local authorities can achieve a better return on investment (ROI). The report produced a Cycling Planning Model to aid local authorities in estimating how many cyclists would have to use new facilities in order for them to be deemed a good investment.
The model revealed that a £10,000 spend requires only one additional regular cyclist in order to pay for investment, while a £100,000 spend requires 11 additional regular cyclists in order to pay for investment.
A regular cyclist was defined as someone who cycles three times a week, while the study took into account the lifetime of a project – 30 years in this case.
"Unless the full benefits of cycling are taken into account we will systematically under-invest in cycling,” said Cycling England chairman Phillip Darnton.
“Cycling must compete for investment with other modes of transport and this requires robust evidence of its benefits.
"We believe the Cycling Planning Model will help give local authorities a clearer sense of the return on investment build cycling can deliver. We hope it will enable them to build cycling into their thinking at an earlier stage in the planning process."