Well this all sounds wonderful in theory but how can we afford it in a recession?

We would ask – how can we afford not to? The modest decline in cycling between 1995 and 2005 is calculated to have cost the country a total of £600 million in health, congestion and pollution costs over the decade, whereas increasing cycling rates by just 50% would save the country £1.3 billion over 10 years, with the largest benefit coming from less congestion.18

Building decent bike infrastructure isn’t cheap compared to painting lines on the road; the Dutch now spend around €30 per person each year, and we’ve got a long way to go to catch up with them19 but even so, that would amount to less than half the £3.4 billion that will be spent on widening the M25.

The evidence from elsewhere shows that investing in networks of walking and cycling tracks pays back around four to five times the amount spent, a far better ratio than any other kind of transport investment.20 Even with the more modest investment and cycling increases (of 27%) seen in Cycling England’s Cycling Demonstration Towns, the benefits were between 2.6 and 3.5 times the costs.21