I want the UK to stay in the EU, and I want Scotland to be an independent country. But it is hard for one person to have an impact on such major issues. I've decided on a more modest focus: improving cycling in Edinburgh and Scotland, and specifically building more segregated cycle paths.
Thanks to the work of many, including Spokes and Walk Cycle Vote, there is already progress. In 2012 Edinburgh City Council has agreed to commit 5% of its transport budget to cycling, increasing by 1% a year until it reaches 10% next year. One of the first major outcomes is the proposed Roseburn to Leith Walk Cycle route.
The proposal includes a detailed economic case, which is worth a look from anyone interested in promotion of segregated cycling. It predicts that the estimated £6.3M cost will lead to an 88% increase in folk cycling in the affected regions, leading to a £13.1M savings from improvements to health, £5.3M improvement to the GCP (Gross Cycling Product, e.g., increases in tourism and is sales of cycles), and £1.0M of benefits from reduced car usage (such as fewer accidents).
Benefits: Gross Cycling ProductResearch suggests that cycling benefits the local economy and a national study carried out by the London School of Economics (LSE) in 20108 concluded that each cyclist contributes a Gross Cycling Product (GCP) of £230 per year to the economy. This research was supported by a European wide study which found that cycling delivers wider economic benefits in terms of supporting jobs and driving tourism – with cycling having a greater employment intensity than any other transport sub-sector. Applying the findings of the LSE study to the forecast increase in cycling, the scheme will generate a GCP benefit of £5,753,218 over the 10 year scheme life.