Cycling benefits outweigh cost by more than 5:1 says government report

DfT report shows for every £1 invested in cycling, £5.50 is generated in economic, social and health benefits.

A new report by the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed that the cost of investing in cycling is outweighed by the benefits by 5.5:1.

That means for every £1 spent by the government, £5.50 is generated in economic, social and health benefits, with health being the biggest benefit.

Of the total benefits generated, health accounted for 61%, while congestion relief was the second highest, accounting for 18%.

In August 2013 the government outlined its spending for cycling through the DfT’s Cycle City Ambition Grant and the Cycling in National Parks Grant, which total £94m in funding.

Eight cities received £77.2m in total from the government, with Greater Manchester getting the biggest share of £20m.

Four National Parks shared £16.8m of the fund.

When announcing the fund, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Following our success in the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Tour de France, British cycling is riding high – now we want to see cycling soar.

“Our athletes have shown they are among the best in the world and we want to build on that, taking our cycling success beyond the arena and onto the roads, starting a cycling revolution which will remove the barriers for a new generation of cyclists.”

Mr Cameron added: “This government wants to make it easier and safer for people who already cycle as well as encouraging far more people to take it up and business, local government, developers, road users and the transport sector all have a role to play in helping to achieve this.”