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Cycle to Work Celebration

Posted 16.09.16 | By Dan Smith

14 September 2016 marked national Cycle to Work Day in Britain, encouraging commuters to ditch their cars and public transport (wherever possible) to pedal to the office. So why should we be cycling to work, and why isn’t it cycle to work day, every day?

Rise in pedalling popularity

Like in the summer of 2012, the nation’s cycling excitement has once more been captured in 2016 by Chris Froome’s third Tour de France victory; the 11 medals won on the track and road by team GB at Rio 2016; and the ongoing success of British Paralympic cyclists at the games. But a lot has happened in terms of the popularity of cycling in Britain since London 2012 with 741,000 people now regularly cycling to work – a number that is hoped will rise to one million over the next five years. This number has been bolstered in recent years with the popularity of the Cycle to Work Scheme, where incentives have seen more than a million bikes purchased this way, whilst potentially saving the country £72 million a year.

Bright future?

To compliment the Cycle to Work Scheme, a government strategy was launched in March 2016 to promote cycling and walking as an alternative to driving for short journeys. This scheme is geared towards making this the natural choice for getting around by 2040, and hopes to double the number of cyclists; reduce the rate of cyclist casualties and injuries; and increase the number of children walking to school, helping to reverse the general decline of walking.

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has suggested: “We have committed over £300 million to support cycling and walking over this Parliament… We cannot afford not to grasp the opportunities available and we are determined to make this country a cycling and walking nation, comparable to the very best in the world.”

Improvement to cyclist safety is a focal point of this project, aiming to alleviate British Cycling’s concerns, and it is hoped that this will encourage even more riders onto the roads and cycle highways.

So with this in mind, it appears that Britain will be seeing plenty more cycle to work days, albeit with the nation’s riders just happy to be regularly out on their bikes.

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