Cycle commuting on the rise as car use falls

By Richard Peace | Friday, January 9, 2009 12.21pm

A recent Sainsbury’s Home Insurance survey shows that the number of commuters cycling to work has risen to a high of 3.3 million since the start of the credit crunch.

Meanwhile, new Department for Transport figures show that traffic on Britain's roads is decreasing significantly for the first time since the early 1970s.

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For the six months leading to September 2008, there were fewer cars and lorries on Britain's roads compared to the same period in 2007. This is the first time this has happened since the 1970s and runs against the official predicted trend of a yearly 1-2 percent increase in motor traffic.

Even during the recession of the early 1990s, traffic levels stayed static rather than decreasing, suggesting the effects of the current recession are even stronger than the previous one, bikes are replacing more motor journeys, or a combination of the two.

Sales of new cars have also fallen by some 23% and are at their lowest since 1996.

People who cycle to work save an average of £33.70 a week or up to £111.2 million collectively according to the Sainsbury’s survey.

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