With a 48-hour Tube strike set to start in London, British Cycling’s policy adviser Chris Boardman is urging stranded commuters to turn to their bikes to get from A to B.
Underground services throughout the capital are expected to be disrupted for 48 hours from 9pm tonight as the dispute between London Underground and the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union continues.
The lack of running trains could leave thousands of people looking for alternative ways of getting to work, but with the average tube journey lasting just one mile, British Cycling’s policy adviser is urging people to turn that journey into an equivalent 10 minute bike ride.
Chris Boardman said: “Around a quarter of rush hour traffic in central London is people on bikes, and it makes perfect sense for commuters to turn to two wheels during this latest disruption.
“The average tube journey is currently just one mile. This could very easily be transferred into an equivalent bike ride of just 10 minutes.
“Improving the provisions for cycling is the solution to so many of the problems for our cities. Sometimes, we need an excuse to make a positive change and it seems to me that the disruption with the underground could provide the perfect opportunity for people to try cycling to work.”
British Cycling’s ‘Time to #ChooseCycling’ plan – launched in February - sets out the need for national targets, sustained investment and accountability of outcomes in order to truly grow cycling in all of towns and cities. The benefits of doing so are clear including helping us lose weight and reduce congestion for all.
In February, we reported how a replacement of just 1 in 10 car journeys by bike would save the NHS £2.5 billion over 10 years, while every new regular commuting cyclist contributes benefits of £590 per year through improved health and reduced congestion and pollution.
Commenting on this, Boardman added: “It is time to change the focus of our cities to allow people more opportunities to cycle in order to be less reliant on public transport.
“The desire to cycle is there, but we need leadership, the setting of some national targets, long term planning and the reallocation of funds to increase cycling. Getting people on bikes is a major solution to so many of our problems.
“With an election looming, I will be pressing MPs to make tangible, quantifiable commitments in their manifestos to tackle this issue.”