Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Air Quality

Savings From UK Walking & Cycling = £1 Million A Day — While Increasing Health

The first thing I think of when I read a post about walking and cycling is the savings from better health. I have a visceral reaction to the smell of gasoline. Even a whiff can trigger a headache. I am grateful for every quiet, nontoxic pedestrian pathway, the bicyclist whizzing by with the breeze, and electric vehicles.

worcester (1)News now is that walking and cycling save the UK £1 million a day — the savings in the UK total more than £7 billion over the past 20 years. These savings mainly reflect savings accruing through health benefits — according to new research by sustainable transport charity Sustrans. In fact, pointing out that inactivity is a serious threat to our collective health, the Sustrans research shows that “lack of physical activity could cause over 36,000 premature deaths in England each year.”

Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive of Sustrans, said: “When we launched the National Cycle Network in 1995 we wanted to show both the huge potential and the enormous benefits of people being able to choose to make healthy journeys…. The figures speak for themselves – we have demonstrated beyond doubt that many more people walking and cycling is good for our health, and it’s smarter for our economy.”

Backed by National Lottery Funding, the Network reports its expanding network of cycling and walking routes create savings of about £200 million a year in absenteeism costs. It shows the excellent effect of mitigating carbon emissions by 30 million kilograms.

Perhaps I am more sensitive to the smell, and perhaps part of that is because the smell reflects facts — diesel fumes are carcinogenic, and I’m well aware of that. The sound of loud cars and traffic shakes the nervous system, aggressive interruptions compared to the sound of birds or the wind. Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, says: “Air pollution kills 29,000 people a year in the UK, and can lead to diseases like lung cancer, whilst worsening other lung conditions like COPD and asthma.”

The Telegraph article continues to point out that the paper is just the latest research clarifying the economic benefits of cycling. Mentioning that another review of 500 existing studies by academics at the University of California’s Active Living surmises that, for every £1 invested in walking and cycling schemes, the economy benefits by £13.

BusinessGreen highlights that sustainable transport campaigners call for 5% of the transport budget. Shepard continues, “To make walking and cycling local journeys an option for everyone we need the new government to provide funding for cycling and walking to be equivalent of five per cent of the transport budget.”

The report shows that to double foot, bike, and public transit commuting potentially saves the national economy £110 billion over the next 30 years. On that note, Shepherd said. “And [we need] a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy that contains a long-term vision and targets, in the same way, that already exists for our roads and railways.”

bike-head1-570x546

Good circulation is so much to health, nowhere more vital than in balancing the brain. Bicycling is therapeutic in degenerative patterns such as Parkinson’s — see: “Biking Benefits Body & Brain.” The New England Journal of Medicine on YouTube captures the success and happiness of a 58-year-old patient with a 10-year history of Parkinson’s. While hardly able to shuffle down a hospital corridor, he whizzes lightly with sublime balance and ease on a bicycle.

Some doctors are doing more than suggesting exercise, along with an apple. They are encouraging “a bikeshare a day.” Indeed, part of healthcare is state of mind, interrelationships, and connections. “The Fascinating Way Bicycling Brings Us Closer Together” informs us why this is so necessary. Zach writes:

Peter Cromwell, in the fascinating presentation below, shows what distances are normal “public distances,” what are normal “social distances,” what are normal “personal distances,” and what are normal “intimate distances.” “He then proceeds to show how bicycling and good bicycle infrastructure put strangers within personal distances of each other (as well as social distances). Subtly, this connects us more. It makes us feel closer to our fellow city residents and strangers in general. It’s a great video. Check it out! (h/t PeopleForBike)

Bike Safe. Breathe. Enjoy. Be Well.

Related Stories:

Bicycling Is A Very Effective Means Of Preventive Healthcare, Research Shows

Top Ten Benefits of Bicycling 

Bicyclists Have The Best Moods, Research Finds

Images via Sustrans and Shutterstock


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

Originally published on NRDC Expert Blog. By Mitchell Bernard We must build the national transportation system of the future — and do it now, all...

Air Quality

A recent study from Imperial College London showed that there’s still lead in London air from leaded petrol (gasoline) that was banned more than...

Cars

Liuzhou, China has the highest percentage of EV sales in the world except for Oslo, Norway. How did it do it?

Clean Transport

Miami-Dade county has taken another step towards the electric future by adding 42 Proterra ZX5+ buses to its rapidly growing electric bus fleet, bringing...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.