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  • FIRST POST
    • fred246
    • By fred246 26th May 17, 6:06 AM
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    fred246
    Cycling and the Economy
    • #1
    • 26th May 17, 6:06 AM
    Cycling and the Economy 26th May 17 at 6:06 AM
    The UK government has done little to promote cycling. Governments in Holland and Denmark have managed to increase cycle usage enormously. I think the UK government failure is mainly down to financial reasons. They like people to be employed making cars. They want the UK to be a big car producing country like Germany. They get tax from cars and tax from fuel. People are employed servicing and repairing cars. Holland and Denmark make very few cars so a car purchase there is bad for balance of trade. My spend on cycle commuting is probably about £20-30 a year for 3000 miles. People on the motoring forum are spending hundreds of pounds a month on new cars to do similar journeys. Why isn't cycling promoted in the UK - it's the economy stupid.
Page 1
    • worried jim
    • By worried jim 26th May 17, 6:17 AM
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    worried jim
    • #2
    • 26th May 17, 6:17 AM
    • #2
    • 26th May 17, 6:17 AM
    You've answered your own question. Plus we are busy with things to do and places to go, we haven't got all day to sit around smoking dope, fingering dams and playing with Lego.
    "Only two things are infinite-the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not so sure about the universe"
    Albert Einstein
    • elverson
    • By elverson 26th May 17, 8:02 AM
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    elverson
    • #3
    • 26th May 17, 8:02 AM
    • #3
    • 26th May 17, 8:02 AM
    A lot of those cars are exported anyway.
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 26th May 17, 11:45 AM
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    Johno100
    • #4
    • 26th May 17, 11:45 AM
    • #4
    • 26th May 17, 11:45 AM
    The UK government has done little to promote cycling. Governments in Holland and Denmark have managed to increase cycle usage enormously. I think the UK government failure is mainly down to financial reasons. They like people to be employed making cars. They want the UK to be a big car producing country like Germany. They get tax from cars and tax from fuel. People are employed servicing and repairing cars. Holland and Denmark make very few cars so a car purchase there is bad for balance of trade. My spend on cycle commuting is probably about £20-30 a year for 3000 miles. People on the motoring forum are spending hundreds of pounds a month on new cars to do similar journeys. Why isn't cycling promoted in the UK - it's the economy stupid.
    Originally posted by fred246
    You've made an incorrect assumption, namely that more cycling means less car ownership.

    The Netherlands for example may have many more cyclists but motor vehicle ownership per capita is greater than in the UK.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 26th May 17, 12:38 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    • #5
    • 26th May 17, 12:38 PM
    • #5
    • 26th May 17, 12:38 PM
    As others have pointed out, it's not the economy - a large number of cyclists also own cars and many cars manufactured here are exported. Furthermore usually money spent on cycling generates great returns for the economy.

    The problem is the general UK mindset which is very much car driven and this article sums it up well:

    Rachel Aldred, a Westminster University sociologist who studies transport issues, argues that British cyclists suffer because, unlike in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark, bikes are seen as frivolous, compared with the serious, adult business of driving. She says: “It’s as if you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing on the roads, almost like you’re playing in the street and getting in the way of the traffic, like you’re a child. There’s also this dual way you can be stigmatised as a cyclist – it was historically seen as something for people with no choice, but now it’s seen as something for people who have a choice. It’s a leisure or play thing that they shouldn’t be doing in this inappropriate place.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jul/01/sabotage-and-hatred-what-have-people-got-against-cyclists?CMP=fb_gu

    Any time I see an article that is anything positive for cyclists there's always a tremendous backlash against such actions with all the usual rubbish about cyclists don't pay road tax, shouldn't be on the roads, should be spending money or helping cars etc. Even when there's news of improvements in congested areas for cyclists there's always people complaining that they should be spending money on the cars first even though it's car use they are trying to reduce.

    Until the general UK mindset changes away from cars and less towards being so against cyclists, I can't see much improving any time soon.

    John
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 26th May 17, 12:52 PM
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    Johno100
    • #6
    • 26th May 17, 12:52 PM
    • #6
    • 26th May 17, 12:52 PM
    Even when there's news of improvements in congested areas for cyclists there's always people complaining that they should be spending money on the cars first even though it's car use they are trying to reduce.
    Originally posted by Johnmcl7
    Not on cars, on the roads generally to help all road users. Of course taking away already congested road space and handing it over for ZiL lanes for the lycra elite is going to cause resentment.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 26th May 17, 2:34 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    • #7
    • 26th May 17, 2:34 PM
    • #7
    • 26th May 17, 2:34 PM
    Not on cars, on the roads generally to help all road users. Of course taking away already congested road space and handing it over for ZiL lanes for the lycra elite is going to cause resentment.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    That's the problem, it shouldn't cause resentment when cars are causing the problem particularly in larger cities where pollution is getting an increasingly severe and deadly problem. Despite that, the cyclists are still seen as the selfish ones.

    John
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 26th May 17, 2:59 PM
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    Johno100
    • #8
    • 26th May 17, 2:59 PM
    • #8
    • 26th May 17, 2:59 PM
    That's the problem, it shouldn't cause resentment when cars are causing the problem particularly in larger cities where pollution is getting an increasingly severe and deadly problem. Despite that, the cyclists are still seen as the selfish ones.

    John
    Originally posted by Johnmcl7
    Pollution levels are a fraction of what they were a generation or two ago. Just another stick to beat the motorist with.



    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 26th May 17, 3:12 PM
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    spadoosh
    • #9
    • 26th May 17, 3:12 PM
    • #9
    • 26th May 17, 3:12 PM
    I beg to differ.

    The cycle to work scheme was introduced in 1999. A government funded tax cut for those wishing to buy a new bike.

    The government has put (or at least suggested they where going to) investment of £200million+ in to cycling in recent years.

    My own city has recently spent several million pounds on a cycle route. Every new road that has been installed in the last few years locally has incorporated cycle lanes.

    Government stats on total annual mileage for cyclist has increased year on year since 2007 (excl a slight decrease in 2015) which suggest more people are riding, it could be the unlikely case of fewer people cycling more but as mentioned i think that unlikely.

    Economics is a fine balance. I wouldnt like to comment on whether its more economical to have people healthier living longer requiring less treatment or to have them dying earlier likely requiring more expensive treatment. But youre essentially playing with very fine margins, it would be foolish to think its based solely on the 'economy' when its nigh on impossible to find out the absolute costs/benefits to cycling.


    I can imagine a lot of the resentment between road users stems directly from the holier than thou approach taken in the OP.

    Lastly i dont like government involvement in things. Why should the government promote cycling over say badminton which offers as many health benefits? Is a motorcycle better than a car but worse than a bike? How about government funded horse riding lessons? But its eco friendly!
    Don't be angry!
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 26th May 17, 3:41 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    Pollution levels are a fraction of what they were a generation or two ago. Just another stick to beat the motorist with.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    It doesn't matter if they're a fraction of what they were, the problem is they're still dangerously high and resulting in many people dying due to air quality issues - currently estimated to be around 10,000 deaths a year in London alone. The levels of nitrous oxide are dangerously high and predicted to remain that way for some time.

    But sure, a stick to beat the motorist with...I really don't know if that's just trolling or what but it's an alarmingly demonstration of the very point I was making if it's not.

    John
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 26th May 17, 3:51 PM
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    Johnmcl7
    I beg to differ.

    The cycle to work scheme was introduced in 1999. A government funded tax cut for those wishing to buy a new bike.

    The government has put (or at least suggested they where going to) investment of £200million+ in to cycling in recent years.

    My own city has recently spent several million pounds on a cycle route. Every new road that has been installed in the last few years locally has incorporated cycle lanes.
    Originally posted by spadoosh
    You can beg to differ all you want but sadly the facts tell a different story, the spend per person on cycling is extremely low and the percentage of journeys completed by bike is also extremely low - a few token cycles lanes don't change that.

    Government stats on total annual mileage for cyclist has increased year on year since 2007 (excl a slight decrease in 2015) which suggest more people are riding, it could be the unlikely case of fewer people cycling more but as mentioned i think that unlikely.
    The current rate of journeys completed by bike is extremely low.

    Economics is a fine balance. I wouldnt like to comment on whether its more economical to have people healthier living longer requiring less treatment or to have them dying earlier likely requiring more expensive treatment. But youre essentially playing with very fine margins, it would be foolish to think its based solely on the 'economy' when its nigh on impossible to find out the absolute costs/benefits to cycling.
    It's not nigh on impossible, there's plenty of evidence from countries who have put the money into cycling and reaped the benefits.

    I can imagine a lot of the resentment between road users stems directly from the holier than thou approach taken in the OP.
    It's difficult to know how to even respond to this aside from the fact that it's very wrong to apply such a crude generalisation to all cyclists, a very diverse group and it's most certainly not accurate.

    Lastly i dont like government involvement in things. Why should the government promote cycling over say badminton which offers as many health benefits? Is a motorcycle better than a car but worse than a bike? How about government funded horse riding lessons? But its eco friendly!
    I'm kind of concerned I need to point this out but unless we're thinking of a different sport, badminton is not a viable commuting solution nor an effective way to reduce congestion and pollution. Neither is horse riding but cycling is, it's an efficient way to travel with no pollution, takes up less space than a car and improves health - that's why other countries have focused on cycling and they they've seen the benefits. That's a combination of benefits neither badminton, horse riding or motorcycling offer.

    John
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 26th May 17, 4:05 PM
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    Johno100
    It doesn't matter if they're a fraction of what they were, the problem is they're still dangerously high and resulting in many people dying due to air quality issues - currently estimated to be around 10,000 deaths a year in London alone. The levels of nitrous oxide are dangerously high and predicted to remain that way for some time.
    Originally posted by Johnmcl7
    No not 10,000 deaths caused by pollution, a theoretical reduction in the life span of individuals. That can be as little as a couple of days at the end of a long life.

    Pollution levels are dropping and will continue to do so as technology improves over time.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 26th May 17, 4:19 PM
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    spadoosh
    You can beg to differ all you want but sadly the facts tell a different story, the spend per person on cycling is extremely low and the percentage of journeys completed by bike is also extremely low - a few token cycles lanes don't change that.

    Bet you million quid we're int he top 50 countries in the world.

    The current rate of journeys completed by bike is extremely low.

    Compared to what, cars? I bet it is. Bet its extremely high compared to completed journeys on horseback or by skateboard.




    It's not nigh on impossible, there's plenty of evidence from countries who have put the money into cycling and reaped the benefits.
    Please tell me how much hollands pension bill has increased as a direct result of the increased usage of bicycles there? I assume you have that evidence. This is what i mean by nigh on impossible. When you can tell me exactly how much it costs to fund the benefits (better health longer life) of cycling and you can offset it against the the income generated from motorists we can have that discussion, until then i will deem it nigh on impossible to produce such statistics



    It's difficult to know how to even respond to this aside from the fact that it's very wrong to apply such a crude generalisation to all cyclists, a very diverse group and it's most certainly not accurate. You think its wrong, i dont. I have to deal with people on a daily basis and their generalisations about my cycling.
    When you come across as an arrogant so and so and youre attempting to represent me as a cyclist by suggesting more needs to be done when im perfectly happy with the current set up i will highlight, just as you have done.




    I'm kind of concerned I need to point this out but unless we're thinking of a different sport, badminton is not a viable commuting solution nor an effective way to reduce congestion and pollution. Neither is horse riding but cycling is, it's an efficient way to travel with no pollution, takes up less space than a car and improves health - that's why other countries have focused on cycling and they they've seen the benefits. That's a combination of benefits neither badminton, horse riding or motorcycling offer.So you need the government to tell you how to get to work? Personally i get up and either just get in my car or jump on my bike. Hell on a good day i might be crazy and decide to walk.



    John
    Originally posted by Johnmcl7
    I dont understand why tax payers should subsidise how i choose to commute more than they already do.

    Its already completely tax free (excluding VAT on purchase which can be reclaimed througha government incentive). What do you want the government to do pay you to cycle? Or charge tax on motorists (they already do this in the form of VED and taxes on petroleum)

    What exactly do you want doing? If youre going to say spend more money can you say what you would like the money to be spent on and probably more importantly where you would choose to take the money from?

    Like i say my council has created cycling routes, every new or resurfaced roads has considered cyclists including a substantial increase in marked cycle lanes. What more as a cyclist should i be asking for? Ive got everything i need for commuting, a bike and the roads to get there safely. Fill me in on where im going wrong?
    Don't be angry!
    • jack_pott
    • By jack_pott 26th May 17, 5:22 PM
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    jack_pott
    Not on cars, on the roads generally to help all road users. Of course taking away already congested road space and handing it over for ZiL lanes for the lycra elite is going to cause resentment.
    Originally posted by Johno100
    The reason for congestion is that motoring is too cheap. If demand isn't rationed by price then it will grow until it's limited by something else such as congestion. The average time a worker spends commuting is half an hour regardless of mode of transport, so if you make people's journey less congested they just live further from work. Since the road network has grown enormously over the last 80 years, and congestion has got worse, not better, people's appetite for sitting in traffic jams must also be increasing.
    • Patrick Stewart
    • By Patrick Stewart 14th Jun 17, 11:54 AM
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    Patrick Stewart
    No not 10,000 deaths caused by pollution, a theoretical reduction in the life span of individuals. That can be as little as a couple of days at the end of a long life.

    Pollution levels are dropping and will continue to do so as technology improves over time.
    Originally posted by Johno100

    They certainly aren't dropping in highly congested areas like London. EU regulations on safe pollution levels have been broken year after year.


    I'd say cycling has become more popular in recent years, thanks to sporting success from Hoy and Froome etc


    If we cant afford to repair roads properly I'd be surprised if there was any extra effort to make cycle lanes etc.
    Last edited by Patrick Stewart; 14-06-2017 at 11:58 AM.
    • Altarf
    • By Altarf 17th Jun 17, 9:41 AM
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    Altarf
    My own city has recently spent several million pounds on a cycle route. Every new road that has been installed in the last few years locally has incorporated cycle lanes.
    Originally posted by spadoosh
    Why? Cyclists never use them.

    It would improve the economy if all expenditure on cycling infrastructure was cancelled and the money used more productively for things people did use.
    • Johno100
    • By Johno100 17th Jun 17, 12:04 PM
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    Johno100
    They certainly aren't dropping in highly congested areas like London. EU regulations on safe pollution levels have been broken year after year.
    Originally posted by Patrick Stewart
    Yes, pollution levels are dropping there as well, note the second graph in my post #8 relates specifically to London.

    If we cant afford to repair roads properly I'd be surprised if there was any extra effort to make cycle lanes etc.
    Originally posted by Patrick Stewart
    Over a billion pounds has been spent or allocated to cycling infrastructure in London alone. And only a third of what is received by the government in motoring taxes is re-invested into the roads network, so the money is there.
    • martindow
    • By martindow 17th Jun 17, 12:18 PM
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    martindow
    Why? Cyclists never use them.
    Originally posted by Altarf
    Properly segregated cycle routes are well used. The problem is that painting a bit of road or making footpaths dual use is not safe or attractive for a cyclist to use if they have to give way at every side road or driveway. Many prefer to take their chances on the roadway.

    It all comes down to how well designed cycle routes are.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 17th Jun 17, 12:57 PM
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    boliston
    Here is an example of cycle planning that makes sense
    it is a junction i use several times a week
    i remember when it was introduced the daily mail brigade were "spitting feathers"
    old junction layout
    new junction layout
    Last edited by boliston; 17-06-2017 at 12:59 PM.
    • Altarf
    • By Altarf 17th Jun 17, 1:46 PM
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    Altarf
    Properly segregated cycle routes are well used. The problem is that painting a bit of road or making footpaths dual use is not safe or attractive for a cyclist to use if they have to give way at every side road or driveway. Many prefer to take their chances on the roadway.

    It all comes down to how well designed cycle routes are.
    Originally posted by martindow
    That sounds reasonable, if you can't put in a "properly segregated cycle route" then the authorities should save their money and not put anything in place.

    And for those where there is a "properly segregated cycle route" to gain the benefit from the expenditure the authorities should obviously prohibit cyclists from using the roads that are bypassed by the "properly segregated cycle route".
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