Walking and Cycling
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The world of the modern cyclist or pedestrian is a curious one. Whilst enjoying the benefits of physical exercise and fresh air, they are prone to accidents, bad weather and problems if they have to get somewhere in a hurry.

Relative to distance travelled, cyclists face a greater risk of death or injury on the roads. In most countries bicycles have to meet road safety requirements, particularly the inclusion of front, rear, and wheel reflectors, and cyclists are usually encouraged to wear protective helmets and comply with traffic laws, such as stopping at traffic lights and observing pedestrians' right of way.

"Cycling has a role in broadening travel choice for many members of society. In the West Midlands, 40% of households do not have access to a car. Further to this, it is estimated that of the potential driving population, 42% of men and women do not hold a current driving licence. However, it is also estimated that 90% of men and 67% of women have learnt to cycle. In improving personal mobility, a bicycle can increase accessibility to jobs, shops and other facilities. Cycling also gives those under 17 independent mobility."
From 'Cycling Strategy - A Policy Document' by Birmingham City Council
Businessman on a Bike
Since the 1970's, bicycle ownership
has increased, and since 1991, bike
sales have exceeded car sales for the
same period.
It is estimated that:
* 10% of new bikes are sold to adults.
* 90% of junior school children and 76% of senior school children own a bike.
* 1 in 3 adults own a bike.
* Total bike ownership is 20 million
* No congestion.
* Health benefits.
* Reduces air pollution.
* Little waste produce.
* Near silent travel.
* Manufacture consume very
little resources.
* Easy to maintain.
* Long working life.
* Reduce demand for parking.
* Sport use. * Fun
The interest in cycling shown by ownership is not matched by levels of cycle usage. Between 1975 and 1991, cycle usage declined nationally by 19%. The average distance travelled to work by bike in Birmingham in 1981 was 4.25km, and was 4.95km in 1991.
In Birmingham there is no excuse for not cycling......
In Birmingham, there is adequate and improving provision for cyclists. There are many cycle paths along arterial routes, and the canals can be used equally, after purchasing a permit for as little as 3. Many more people could and should cycle to work, and to school. It can be done, and should be encouraged by schools.
What about walking? Back to Main Page.
Walking is a less convenient method of transport. For journeys under 1 mile, it remains the most popular method of transport, but if the weather is bad, then people are less likely to walk. Similarly, if an emergency occurs, then how can you respond quickly? What if you have left something at home?
Walking is beneficial to health, and very environmentally friendly. However, sometimes there is a fear for personal security, especially for certain social groups, e.g. women alone, or junior school children.

Personal transport is essential to all of us. We could not travel without it. We should all think about using it more, and encourage others to do the same.
Transport problems The Car The Train and the Metro
The Bus as Public Transport Walking and Cycling Links and Bibliography
This site was prepared as an entry for the Travel Wise competition 2000
and went online on 31/3/2000.
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Copyright 2000