Higher energy costs to fuel cycling boom says CTC

Unprecedented oil prices could lead to a healthier Britain

Commuters are increasingly swapping four wheels in favour of two

CTC – the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation – is predicting an extra 1.25 million trips will be made by bicycle every day due to the rising price of petrol and diesel.


After the 1979 oil crisis when fuel prices rocketed, cycling increased by almost 40% over thre next four years according to the CTC’s interpretation of  Department for Transport statistics. With fuel prices higher than ever recorded CTC expects thousands of motorists to leave their cars at home and go to work by bike instead. However, the rise shown in the official statistics is open to a number of alternative interpretations.

 Commenting on the likely impact of rising fuel prices CTC Director Kevin Mayne said: “The amount commuters pay for fuel has a direct correlation with people deciding to take up cycling. Going by bike to work is a cheap, quick, healthy and an environmentally friendly way to commute and as people look to save money where they can, it’s the obvious choice”.

It’s not just commuters who bike to work who save money. According to a study by Cycling England every new cyclist contributes an economic benefit of up to £382 to the nation.  Using these figures the CTC calculates that a 40% increase in cycling would provide at least £1bn* worth of benefits.

In anticipation of a boom in cycling to work, CTC has rushed forward the launch of the Bike to Work package to support people leaving their cars for bicycles. The package costs £52 per year and includes breakdown assistance, insurance and all the benefits of being a CTC member. For more information about CTC’s ‘Bike to Work’ package see www.ctc.org.uk/commuter.

 Kevin Mayne added: “If you are considering going by bike to work, now is the perfect time. You’ll save money on fuel, the weather is good and CTC is launching ‘Bike to Work’ which provides cyclists with similar breakdown assistance to motorists, £10m third party insurance and CTC membership for just £1 per week.”

 There are so many benefits to leaving the car at home and travelling by bike to work instead. Here are CTC’s top five:

1.       It saves you money – no petrol, tax or parking charges.

2.       It’s twice as fast as a car in rush hour.

3.       It’s efficient.

4.       It’s environmentally friendly.

5.       It keeps you fit and healthy too. 

But what has your experience been? Have you started cycling more as a result of higher fuel costs and if so will you revert to the car if the price of fuel falls? Log-in below and have your say.


* Cycling England’s report Valuing the benefits of cycling was published last year. Using its figures CTC calculate the benefits by 2015 of cycling increasing 40% at around £1 billion. Breakdown below


Approximate benefit from each cyclist

40% increase in cycling (£m)

Reduction in premature deaths 

£11.16 – £242.07


Reduced NHS costs

£87.06 – £175.51


Reduced absence from work



Reduced pollution



Reduced congestion