30 Jun Cycling Infrastructure in the Future
If you are talking about sustainable transport you have to talk about bicycles – the most sustainable form of transport we have. I’m all for investing millions of tax-payers money into carbonless fuel and alternative energy forces, but we have a mode of transport, already proven, that is 100% sustainable and it is in dire need of government investment: Cycling.
Think about how we travel – most of us, whether we are train users, drivers or bus users, use major arterial routes. But in order to get to these services we drive – there are millions of cars across the UK that spend all day parked in a train or bus station while the owner uses these services to commute to work. This is great and these bus and train services are essential in lowering our carbon emissions, but imagine if more people cycled to these transport terminals.
The car parks for major bus and rail stations are huge, but the bike shelters are practically non-existent. If we invested in decent, secure cycle shelters far more commuters would use them. This is a chicken-egg scenario; the cycle shelters must be built and be visible for people to consider cycling to work, or to the transport terminals that they use for work.
When you travel abroad – Spain, Holland, France, and Italy (I could go on…) they all have superb cycling infrastructure; from cycle paths to cycle shelters – and people use them. We have changed our attitude to cycling in this country, more and more of us are cycling and millions of pounds are being spent on high spec bicycles. But if you have bought a bicycle worth a thousand pounds you do not want to tie it to the railings while you’re at work.
We need to get our local governments and local authorities to invest in more cycling infrastructure in our schools, work places and our public transport services. The more cycle shelters that are built, the more they will be used. This will have a major knock on effect to lower carbon emissions, healthier lifestyles, less road fatalities; it is an investment for the future.
The more we invest in cycling infrastructure the better off our society will be: less obesity, less road fatalities, less carbon emissions, less traffic. It is a win-win situation.