Understanding the UK’s Cycle to Work Scheme

A Focus on Environmental Benefits

29 April 2024

Dino Bertolis

Can we actually quantify someone’s personal CO2 reduction when using bikes?

Yes! Let's look at the ‘carbon cost’ over the average petrol vehicles’ life at 253g/km, 90g/km for an electric vehicle, and compare that to the 5g/km in production cost for the most high-end pedal bikes and electric bikes which can have comparatively negligible environmental impacts given the cleanliness of your countries electricity grid. Obviously these numbers may vary but we can clearly quantify the bikes C02 efficiency as orders of magnitude better compared to private transport. This is likely due to their simplicity, ease of manufacturing and obviously being carbon cost free at the point of use.

What other benefits does Bike riding have in metro areas?

More use of the existing biking infrastructure creates greater incentive for central authorities to increase investment. This means that the existing £154 million TFL investment package in cycling lanes can increase dramatically if only 2-3% of Londoners incorporated cycling into their daily lives. Moreover the general impacts of London, Manchester and Birmingham congestion such as estimated 9,500 premature deaths can be reduced and progress made to the net zero targets set by the London city council.

Why is this relevant to me?

Well around the country over half of all journeys in private transportation were less than 5 miles, even more in cities where 37% of all journeys are in private transportation. Given the installation of over 50 miles of cycle lanes in London, a study conducted in 2019 showed 41% of small car trips can be realistically replaced by cycling → a 5% reduction in the entire London transport emissions. The government is actively supporting individuals who try to incorporate cycling into their daily lives through the cycle to hire scheme, and has enabled greater accessible cycling schemes for people looking to get into cycling and general work commuters alike.

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