Scientists call for eightfold increase in cycling to boost nation's health

Respected medical journal the Lancet has highlighted the importance of cycling for improved health and reduced transport emissions.

The 80-page report 'Health and climate change' is based on an examination of transport use in London and Delhi, India, and forms part of the Lancet special issue on the health benefits of tackling climate change.

The report says that in both cities cutting emissions through more walking and cycling and less motor vehicle use would bring enormous health benefits.

Significant health benefits from more cycling
The report says, "In London more active travel would bring substantial health gains. Heart disease and stroke could fall by 10-20%, with reductions in breast cancer (12-13%) dementia (8%) and depression (5%).

"Combining increased active travel with low-emission vehicles would bring greater benefits by further reducing air pollution."

Speaking exclusively to London Cyclist magazine, Health Secretary Andrew Burnham said, "The number of cyclists on the road means that soon a re-think is going to be necessary about the layout of roads and the priority given to cyclists. That is almost being forced by the levels of cycling."

The full interview with Andrew Burnham will be published in the next issue of London Cyclist magazine.