Walking and Cycling
Back to Main Page.
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.
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."
Since the 1970's, bicycle ownership
has increased, and since 1991, bike
sales have exceeded car sales for the
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
BENEFITS OF CYCLING:
* No congestion.
* Health benefits.
* Reduces air pollution.
* Little waste produce.
* Near silent travel.
* Manufacture consume very
* Easy to maintain.
* Long working life.
* Reduce demand for parking.
* Sport use. * Fun
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.
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|