Public transport, pollution, health, Olympics

Public transport

The combination of bicycle and rail is quicker than anything else for longer trips. It is a good example of efficient and sustainable integrated transport.

To make best use of off-peak, public transport capacity, rail rolling stock needs to be designed for people wishing to travel part of their journey by bike and part by train, Tube, Docklands Light Railway, Crossrail, or tram.

Where replacement buses are used, these should carry bicycles. Access to stations should also be made cycle-friendly by providing larger lifts, well-designed stairs, wheeling ramps on stairs, and so on.

Pollution and environment

Changing from motorised transport to cycling allows a dramatic decrease in the emissions of CO2, harmful atmospheric pollutants and noise.

Carbon dioxide has been recognised as major contributor to climate change, and encouraging cycling is a cost-effective means of achieving CO2 reduction targets.

London has some of the highest rates of particulate air pollution in Europe, caused by dust particles from car exhausts and brakes, among other sources. Air pollution is estimated to cause over 4000 premature deaths per year in the city.

Noise pollution has a severely detrimental effect on quality of life.

Health

Encouraging cycling has immediate health and psychological advantages over transport choices.

Increasing the amount of regular exercise gives immediate and long-lasting health benefits, including measurable reductions in heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other serious diseases.

Despite the small risk of collisions, the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks by a factor of 20.

Replacing other travel modes with cycling enables more exercise achievable within a person's daily routine. This is crucial as the current transport regime has helped produce an obesity crisis costing London £1 billion per year.

Promoting cycling will reduce the cost of health care across the city.

Olympics

We have advised the Olympics organising committe from the start on their ‘Active Spectator’ programme to encourage as many people as possible to cycle and walk to the Olympic sites.

We have also worked with the authorities on the Olympic legacy, including the  Velopark, which will be one of the best cycle sporting facilities in the country.

We note that there are serious omissions and disappointments in the way the Olympics transportation arrangements have been conducted: the lack of a Superhighway to the Olympics (it stops a mile short of the site) is an embarrassment.

The failure to embrace cycilng as the number one mode of transport for a festival dedicated to sport is a missed opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles and provide invaluable relief for the public transport network and roads.