Growth in cycling could be worth 248 billion pounds for the English economy

New research by ITS has shown that cycling could provide benefits to the English worth 248bn between now and 2050.

The ‘Economic Cycle’ report by Fiona Crawford (ITS) and Dr Robin Lovelace (School of Geography) was commissioned by CTC, the national cycling charity.

CTC cover jan 2015

It was released as Parliament prepared to debate the inclusion of a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS) in the Infrastructure Bill.   An amendment to the Bill was tabled by a cross-party group of MPs, backed by a coalition of organisations including engineering institutions and health charities, as well as sustainable transport groups, including CTC.

The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s ‘Get Britain Cycling’ (GBC) report called for targets to substantially boost cycle use, from less than 2% of trips at present to 10% by 2025 (less than German levels), and to 25% by 2050 (roughly Dutch levels).

The report compares the economic benefits of meeting these targets, compared with the much lower growth proposed in the Government’s draft Cycling Delivery Plan (CDP), namely to double the number of trips made wholly or partly by cycle by 2025.

Researchers Fiona Crawford and Dr Robin Lovelace found that meeting the GBC report’s 2025 target in England would yield economic benefits that year worth £6.4bn in today’s money, whereas the Government’s CDP target would be worth £2.1bn.  Meeting the 25% target in 2050 would be worth £42bn, compared with just £6.4bn if cycle use continues to grow at the rate proposed by the CDP.

After allowing for ‘discounting’ (how economists and the Treasury account for the lower value of long-run benefits compared with those over the short-term), the cumulative benefits of the GBC’s targets are worth £248bn, compared with £46.4bn under the CDP.

Full report available at:


Further reading