Bike Life -Transforming cities: The potential of everyday cycling

"This report models the potential benefits that could be realised if cities increased their ambition to make cycling a normal, everyday activity. In Greater Manchester cycling could avert 11,300 long term health conditions, saving the NHS over £106 million. In Greater Manchester we recognise this opportunity and we want to seize it.” 

-Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

Commuters walking and cycling on Baldwin Street, Bristol ©2017, Jonathan Bewely, all rights reserved

cycling in Oslo

In 2013, only 8% of everyday travel in Oslo was made by bike, only 9% of residents experienced cycling as safe, and 94% were in favour of developing the city for bikes. 

In 2015 Oslo announced it wanted to make the city centre free of private cars by 2019 and improve cycling provision, with 510km of cycle infrastructure over the next ten years to increase cycle modal share to 16%. Oslo is currently spending around €140m on cycling each year, possibly more than any other similar sized city worldwide.

cycling in Seville

Since 2006 Seville has increased the modal share of cycling from less than 0.5% to around 7% by designing and implementing an 80-mile Dutch-style network of cycle tracks and a 2,500-bike hire scheme. The basic network (50 miles) was made in just one year, and the first extension (up to 80 miles) developed in the following three years.

Fundamental to Seville’s success was political will. Evidence from other cities often shows isolated cycle paths never achieve their potential if they are not connected, making a network from the beginning. 

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Bike Life is a collaboration between Sustrans and the participating cities. Bike Life is funded by The Freshfield Foundation, Transport Scotland and our city partners.