Research docs

A repository of links to what research there is out there and freely available, as well as other useful resources for those seeking evidence. See also the documents on this site.


  • Shackel, S.C. and J. Parkin (2014) Influence of road markings, lane widths and driver behaviour on proximity and speed of vehicles overtaking cyclists, Accident Analysis and Prevention, 73, Considers the effects of the presence of cycle lanes on 20 and 30mph roads, lane widths and markings, vehicle type, platooning and oncoming traffic. Narrower lanes, lower speed limits and no centre lines reduced overtaking speeds, while wider or two-lane roads meant drivers gave bikes more space. In mixed traffic, cyclists will be better accommodated by wider cross-sections, lower speed limits and removal of centre line marking.
  • Avonsafe NHS (2013), "Non-collision cycling incidents", The leading cause of emergency hospital admissions to vulnerable road users is from non-collision (single vehicle, i.e. the cyclist came off their bike) cycling injuries. Although collisions are more likely to cause fatalities, single-vehicle incidents cause 5 times more injuries overall than collisions with cars, trucks and vans. Most are minor, but even minor injuries can put people off cycling. Commonest causes are: slipping on ice (27%), wet roads, and loose soil, mud, gravel or rock; and poorly designed kerbs (one-fifth of all injuries).
  • M.A. Harris et al. (2013), "Comparing the effects of infrastructure on bicycling injury at intersections and non-intersections using a case–crossover design", Injury Prevention, 19, doi:10.1136/injuryprev-2012-040561, Part of the BICE study Examined the impact of transportation infrastructure at intersections and non intersections based on injured adult cyclists in Vancouver and Toronto. Found very low risks for physically separated cycle tracks and local streets with filtered permeability, and that intersections between smaller roads were safer than the intersections of major roads, although traffic circles increased the risk of smaller junctions. Vehicle speeds of 30km/h (20mph) also decreased risk.
  • OECD/ITF (2013), Cycling, Health and Safety, OECD Publishing/ITF.  Report of the International Transport Forum's Cycling Safety Working Group. Cyclists run significantly higher risks than car occupants because the road system is generally not designed for cyclists, or for mixing fast heavy traffic with with slower road users. Well-designed policies can increase both cycling and safety, but a lack of reliable data hinders safety assessments. The "Safe System" approach seeks to redesign the system to meeth tne needs of all traffic classes with 4 key principles: Functionality (the acutal use of the roads conforms to their design), Homogeneity (separation of traffic types by speed, direction and mass), Predictability (recognisable and predictable road design) and Forgivingness (minimising the outcomes of crashes). All road users should receive cycling training and policies should be co-ordinated at a national level. Speed management should be an integral part of cycling safety. 
  • Buehler & Pucher (2012), "Cycling to work in 90 large American cities: new evidence on the role of bike paths and lanes" DOI 10.1007/s11116-011-9355-8 Transportation (2012) 39:409–432 - cities with a greater supply of bike paths have significantly higher cycle commuting rates (as do cities with safe cycling, lower car ownership, more students and less sprawl). Weather and public transport had little impact on cycling figures
  • AC. Lusk, PG. Furth, P. Morency, LF. Miranda-Moreno, WC. Willet & JT. Dennerlin (2011), "Risk of Injury for Bicycling on Cycle Tracks versus in the Street" doi:10.1136/ip.2010.028696 BMJ Injury Pevention, Vol 17, Issue 2 Cycle tracks (physically separated bicycle-exclusive paths along roads, as found in the Netherlands) are discouraged in the USA as being more dangerous than the street. This study compared injury rates on 6 of Montreal's cycle tracks with 6 comparable reference streets and found that cycling levels were higher and injury rates lower.
  • A.S.Morgan, H.B.Dale, W.E.Lee & P.J.Edwards (2010),‘Deaths of Cyclists in London: trends from 1992 to 2006’, BMC Public Health 2010, 10:699, doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-699, Update of the Gilbert & Macarthy paper (below) found a total of 242 deaths, of which 60% were in inner London, and almost 3/4 were males. 184 deaths occurred on, or at a junction with, a major road. More men than women were killed by lorries. During the period cycling increased from 240 to 470 bicycles per km per day, forming 1.48% of total traffic flows on major roads and the fatality rate fell from 20.5 to 11.1 deaths per 100,000 cyclists per km. The biggest threat remained freight vehicles, which are 24 times more likely to be involved in a fatal incident than cars
  • Reid & Adams (2010), 'Infrastructure and cyclist safety, Transport Research Laboratory, A literature review on infrastructure, including research carried out overseas - there is a lack of evidence on the exposure of cyclists to different forms of infrastructure in the UK. Summarises the accident figures for the UK and the contributory factors, as well as what infrastructure councils were already using. Concluded that for single vehicle incidents slippery or defective road surfaces were the biggest risk factor, for multi-vehicle ones the posted speed limit & encounters at junctions. Reducing vehicle speed was therefore considered paramount, including through junctions. Large roundabouts are particularly risky and signalising or geometry changes may help. Little evidence for the effectiveness of ASLs or on-road cycle lanes. Segregated networks may reduce risk to cyclists in general although risk may increase where they intersect with roads. Converting pavements (or cyclists using pavements illegally) increases risk. Systemic approaches such as sustained investment in network-wide segregated facilities supported by traffic calming on the roads seems to offer an effective approach but a piecemeal implementation of such a network is unlikely to work. They recommend more innovation and experimentation in the UK of a wider range of approaches to see what works.
  • Grundy, C. et al. (2009) "Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London, 1986-2006: Controlled interruped time series analysis", BMJ 2009, 339, doi: 10.1136/bmj.b4469 Observational study based on police data analysing longitudinal changes in road injuries within road segments, adjusted for underlying downward trends. Found that there was a 40% reduction in casualties (killed and seriously injured), which was greatest in younger children with casualties reduced by half. But there was a smaller reduction in casualties among cyclists (16.9%) than any other major group
  • Grundy C. et al. (2008) "20 mph Zones and Road Safety in London: A report to the London Road Safety Unit". London: LSHTM. Similar findings as the 2009 paper, albeit with higher reduction in casualties for cyclists
  • CC. Reynolds, MA. Harris, K. Teschke, PA. Cripton & M. Winters (2009), "The Impact of Transportation Infrastructure on Bicycling Injuries and Crashes: A review of the Literature", Environmental Health, 8:47, doi:10.1186/1476-069X-8-47 Review of 23 papers (8 looking intersections and 15 at straightaways). Multi-lane roundabouts significantly increase risk unless a separated cycle track is included in the design. Straightaways less clear but suggest that pavements and multi-use paths pose higher risk, and the presence of bicycle facilities (on-road or off-road) lowered risk. Street lighting, paved surfaces and low-angled grades also appear to improve safety
  • S.U. Jensen, C.Rosenkilde & N.Jensen (2007), Road Safety and Perceived Risk of Cycle Facilities in Copenhagen, Before and after study of the construction of one-way cycle tracks and lanes, blue cycle crossings and raised exits. Investigated accidents and traffic counts before & after the construction of cycling facilities, evaluating 8,500 accidents, with the original (Danish) studies to be found at & Found that constructing cycle tracks resulted in a slight drop in accidents (10%) & injuries (4%) between junctions but that accidents and injuries to pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders rose (by 18%) at junctions. Overall, an increase of 9-10% was found. Some road designs with cycle tracks were safer than others and women were more affected than men (18% vs 1%). The increase was particularly large among women under 20 and older female pedestrians. There were fewer accidents with cars hitting cyclists from the rear, cyclists turning left (across traffic) and cyclists hitting parked cars and more cyclists hitting other cyclists, more being hit by cars turning and more accidents between cyclists and pedestrians, with collisions between cyclists and bus passengers rising the most. The main reason for the increase in accidents was the prohibition of parking on the streets where cycle tracks were introduced, meaning more cars turning into side streets to park, hence more opportunities for collision (turning traffic increased by 25-50%) - where cars could still park on the main street, accidents and injuries did not rise by as much. Retaining parking while introducing cycle tracks narrowed the roads, slowing traffic, and increasing safety for crossing pedestrians. At signalised junctions, where the cycle track was shortened, accidents fell by 30% but injuries increased; in contrast where an advanced cycle track was introduced, the accident rate increased more than the injury rate. Where there were turn lanes as well as an advanced cycle track, injuries fell (although accidents rose). The introduction of cycle lanes did not have a statistically significant effect on accident or injury rates although therewas a fall in the rates for children and a rise in the rates for women. Single blue crossings resulted in a 13% decrease in accidents, whereas 2 or 4 crossings at the junction increased accidents. Raised crossings decreased accidents slightly among cyclists (not statistically signficant but considerably among pedestrians. Overall, taking parking and side road construction into consideration, continuous cycle tracks with raised exits are safer than interruped cycle tracks at junctions. The construction of cycle tracks resulted in 18-20% increase in cycle/moped traffic and a decrease of car traffic on those roads, whereas lanes resulted in a 5-7% increase. Cyclists themselves felt most secure on roads with cycle tracks, and most at risk on mixed traffic, regardless of age, gender or reason for cycling.
  • S.U. Jensen, Bicycle Tracks and Lanes: a Before-After Study, Trafitec, gives the actual figures the above paper was based on, which showed a 20% increase in bicycle & moped traffic and a 10% decrease in motor traffic. The number of crashes actually fell absolute terms (from 2,987 to 2911, with pedestrian, cyclist and driver injuries all decreasing); the reported decline in safety was due to its decline against predicted figures, taking into account the changes to traffic composition.
  • Guthrie, N. and S. Fradd (2006), The impact of on and off-carriageway cycling infrastructure on the safety and amenity of cyclists and pedestrians: A London Example, Association for European Transport, Before-and-after monitoring of a cycle track and cycle lane along West Hill on the A3 in Wandsworth, both varying between 1.2m - 1.4m in width. Found an overall improvement in perceived safety despite substandard design in terms of width and surface
  • S.Daniels & G. Wets (2005), "Traffic Safety Effects of Roundabouts: A review with emphasis on Bicyclist's Safety", Proceedings of the 18th ICTCT Workshop; 27-28 October 2005, Finland A review of a number of studies, comparing 4 approaches to accommodating cyclists on roundabouts: mixed traffic, where the bicycle is treated as simply another vehicle, bike lanes marked onto the roundabout with no physical separation, separated cycle lanes where bikes have priority over traffic entering and exiting, and sepearated cycle lanes where bikes don't have priority. Found that roundabouts with less traffic (<10,000 vehicles and 1000 cyclists per day) are safer than busier ones and physically smaller roundabouts are safer than large ones. In the UK, cyclists were 10-15 times more likely to be involved in an accident on a roundabout than car drivers, although as roundabouts were generally safer than other kinds of intersections even cyclists saw some improvement. Cars were more likely to give priority to cyclists when the lane was adjacent to the roundabout rather than separated but on the whole separated cycle lanes were safer than mixed traffic or adjacent lanes, and lanes were bikes had to give priority were slightly safer than ones where they had priority.
  • Transport for London (2005), Behaviour at Advanced Stop Lines,
  • Brüde U, Larsson J (2000) "What roundabout design provides the highest possible safety?" Nordic Road Transp Res 2000, 2:17-21. (page 17). Single lane roundabouts with central islands of 10-20m diameter were safest for pedestrians and cyclists, additional bike crossings also improved safety compared with having bikes circulate on the carriageway.
  • Department for Transport (1997) Cyclists at Roundabouts: continental design geometry, Traffic Advisory Leaflet 9/97 10% of all cycle accidents occur at roundabouts. Research found using continental geometry may reduce vehicle speeds although they will also reduce traffic capacity (but will still handle up to 2500 vehicles per hour).
  • K. Gilbert, M. McCarthy (1994), "Deaths of Cyclists in London 1985-92: the hazards of road traffic" BMJ 308:1534, Analysis of the deaths of 178 cyclists (78 in inner London and 100 in outer London) found that 173 deaths involved motor vehicles of some kind and 75 involved HGVs. Female cyclists were especially at risk from HGVs in inner London; male cyclists in outer London were especially at risk from cars. In relation to their numbers, HGVs were estimated to cause 30 times as many deaths as cars and 5 times as many deaths as buses.


  • Lovelace, R. & J. Woodcock (2014), "Modelling uptake of cycling and associated benefits", Explores what a transport system would look like if the Get Britain Cycling report's targets of 25% of journeys by bike by 2015 were met, versus cycling remaining steadily or growing slowly. 
  • A. Goodman, J. Panter, S.J. Sharp and D.Ogilvie (2013) "Effectiveness and equity impacts of town-wide cycling initiatives in England: A longitudinal, controlled natural experimental study", Social Science & Medicine, Vol 104, Used census data to compare changes in cycling rates in the six English Cycling Demonstration Towns with three comparison groups, as well as comparing effects between more and less deprived areas. Cycling (and walking) to work in towns where there were interventions increased relative to control areas, with larger relative changes in deprived areas, but there were large variations between the towns. 
  • C.D. van Goeverden, T. Godefrooij, T. (2011), "The Dutch Reference Study: Cases of interventions in bicycle infrastructure reviewed in the framework of Bikeability", Department of Transport and Planning, Delft University, downloadable from Reviews a number of Dutch case studies on the effects of investments in bicycle infrastructure including Tilburg, The Hague and Delft, as well as an evaluation of shared space, a bicycle street, and interurban highways for cyclists. Concludes bike infrastructure must be coherent, direct, attractive, safe and comfortable to use and minimise travel times, with direct routes and minimal delays. Urban bike routes should preferably go through traffic-restricted areas. Segregation is preferred where there are large differences between speeds and where traffic volumes are high. One-directional tracks on both sides of the road are preferred unless this substantially reduces the need to cross busy roads. Bikes can mix with motorised traffic where volumes are low and speeds similar such as bicycle streets or shared space. Intersection design is crucial with design elements such as table (humped) crossings recommended.
  • J. Pucher, J.Garrard, S.Greaves (2011), "Cycling Down Under:A comparative analysis of bicycling trends and policies in Sydney and Melbourne", Journal of Transport Geography, 19(2011) 332-345, Cycling levels in Melbourne are twice that of Sydney and been growing faster, due to more and better integrated cycling infrastructure as well as cycling promotion. Cycling accounts for 1% of daily trips in Australia. According to census figures, 0.6% of commutes in Sydney are by bike, a figure that has remained consistent since 1981, while Melbourne's share has risen from 1% in 1976 to 1.3% in 2006. Young men make up a disproportionate share of Australian cyclists - as a whole only 21% of cycling commuters are women although in some suburbs of Melbourne this rises to 37%. Climate and topography favour Melbourne but these factors have not changed in past 10 years but cycling rates have increased faster in Melbourne. Survey of Sydney residents found perceived traffic danger is the primary reason why non-regular cyclists don't cycle more often. Injury rate has been increasing in both cities. Most cycling experts interviewed for the sutdy suggested that Melbourne's cycling facilities are generally more extensive and better integrated. Both cities are expanding bike facilities but only 2% of NSW on-road bike facilities are fully separate bike lanes and almost all off-road paths are mixed use, and most new facilities have seen fastergrowth at weekends than weekday, suggesting they don't serve commuters. Similar issues in Melbourne but to a lesser extent. Junction modifications such as ASLs, advanced green signals for bikes and special turn lanes have been introduced. Melbourne roadways have trams but are also wider and drivers are considered less aggressive.
  • Pucher et. al (2010), "Cycling in New York: Innovative Policies at the Urban Frontier", World Transport Policy and Practice Case study looking at the impact of New York's implementation of cycling infrastructure since 2000. Particularly interesting is the finding that the more separated a lane or track is from traffic, the more likely women are to cycle on it.
  • L.Yang, S.Sahlqvist, A.McMinn, SJ.Griffin, D.Ogilvie (2010), "Interventions to Promote Cycling: Systematic Review", BMJ 2010;341:c5293 doi: 10.1136/bmj.c5293 Evaluated 25 studies from 7 countries, including both controlled trials and 'before-and-after' observational studies which had a 'do nothing' control group.Six were promoting cycling in particular, rather than non-car modes of transport in general. One randomised controlled trial with obese women found that after intensive interventions (3 meetings with a doctor, physical activity prescriptions and use of a free bicycle) participants were significantly more likely to cycle more than 2km per day after 18 months. An intervention in Texas combining educational and promotional activities to pupils and their parents found it had no effect on cycling to school compared with a control but significantly increased recreational cycling. A cross-sectional study in Delft of improved connectivity of the cycle route network in one area of the city found that the proportion of household trips made by bicycle rose from 40 to 43% over 3 years (compared to a rise by 1% in the control area). The Danish National Cycle City project in Odense combining promotional campaigns and infrastructural measures found an increase in the proportion of cycling trips of around 3.4%. The Cycling Demonstration Towns in England, combining media campaigns, travel planning, training and repair session and infrastructure improvement found net increases of 2-3% in the proportions of residents who reported cycling for at least 30 mins a month. A Ride to Work Day campaign in Australia promoting the use of existing cycle paths found that use of the paths increased but no overall increase in cycling for the population. More general interventions promoting 'environmentally friendly' modes of transport found modest net increases in cycling trip frequency. For most of the studies it was not clear whether reported increases reflected people talking up cycling, or existing cyclists using their bikes more. Concludes that changes to the cycling environment should be combined with advice and support to bring about substantial and sustained changes in behaviour.
  • J. Pulcher & R. Buehler (2008), "Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany", Transport Reviews, Vol. 28, No. 4, 495–528, The key to acheiving high levels of cycling seems to be separated cycling facilities and traffic calming in residential neighbourhoods.
  • J. Dill & T. Carr (2003), "Bicycle Commuting and Facilities in Major US Cities: If you build them, commuters will use them", Transportation Research Vol 1828/2003, - title says it all.
  • DA. Lawlor, AR. Ness, AM. Cope, A. Davis, P. Insall & C. Riddoch (2003), "The Challenges of Evaluating Environmental Interventions to Increase Population Levels of Physical Activity: the case of the UK National Cycle Network", __Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health__, 2003:57,96-101, doi:10.1136/jech.57.2.96 (free registration required) Discusses the potential role of environmental strategies to increase population levels of cycling and walking. No conclusion drawn, but includes some interesting statistics on UK cycling rates - for instance while bike ownership has increased from 14% (1975/6) to 32% (1995/7), the number of short journeys (less than half a mile) have increased to about 25% of all car journeys. Surveys of the National Cycle Network showed that 51% of users were walkers and 46% cyclists, and 57% used it for recreation rather than transport. Both the National Travel Survey and the National Road Traffic Survey exclude journeys made on non-trafficked routes, making it hard to assess the effectiveness of the National Cycle Network
  • Cairns, S., S. Atkins and P.Goodwin (2002), "Disappearing traffic? The story so far", Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Issue 1, Examines over 70 case studies of roadspace reallocation from general traffic to pedestrians, cyclists, buses or light rail, and found that, given the right circumstances, significant reductions in overall traffic can occur (median of about 10.6%). Public opinion has to be carefully managed, emphasising that there is likely to be congestion initially, and making schemes staged and/or initially reversible.
  • Scientific Expert Group on the Safety of Vulnerable Road Users (1998), Safety of Vulnerable Road Users, OECD, Paris. Detailed survey of the issues surrounding vulnerable road users (primarily pedestrians and cyclists, and particularly children and the elderly) and the impact of a road system primarily designed around cars. Includes references to large numbers of detailed studies and cannot be readily summarised. Chapter III summarises the statistics available; Chapter IV gives an overview of figures for traffic accidents; Chapter V looks at the factors involved in accidents; Chapter VI looks ant non-infrastructural safety measures; Chapter VII looks at infrastructural safety measures.
  • Ministry of Transport & Public Works (1987), Evaluation of the Delft Bicycle Network Plan, The Hague, Netherlands Before-and-after study with a control area into the effects of the plan on bicycle use, traffic safety and perceived cycling conditions. Study started in 1982 to consider whether the implementation of a comprehensive bicycle network led to an increase in bicycle traffic and safety, and how cyclists used such a network. After study carried out in 1985. Delft network consists of 3 sub-networks: city level grid of bike corridors c. 500m apart; disctric-level network 2-300m appart connecting facilities like schools and shops & a fine-grained subdistrict level network designed to be used by children, some shared with pedestrians. Main provisions during the study period consisted of 2 large underpasses, 3 bicycle bridges, 3.3km of new bicycle paths, contraflows on 2.6km of road, resurfacing 10km of bike paths and new bike tracks along 8.5km of road. Study area saw improvements made during the control period, control had no improvements made. In the control area, absolute numbers of car trips and car trips as a proportion of all journeys rose by more than 10%, while public transport use fell. In the two study areas, car mobility fell or was static and bike mobility rose from 38% to 39% in one area and 40% to 43% in the other. Increase in bicycle mobility mostly the result of a larger number of bicycle trips per cyclist with the increase concentrated in work and school trips. Trip length also increased by 6% on average and users were less likely to perceive problems with using their bike for journeys.


  • R.D. Edwards and C. Mason (2013), "Spinning the Wheels and Rolling the Dice: Life-Cycle Costs and Benefits of Bicycle Commuting in the US", paper submitted to Preventive Medicine, Even though cycling fatality rates are an order of magnitude higher than in Europe, the lifetime health benefits of cycling appear to outweigh the costs. Cycling in middle age avoids much fatality risk while retaining the health benefits. Variations in fatality rates between states suggest that improvements in the built enviroment might help spur mode shift.
  • J.J. de Hartog, H.Boogaard, H.Nijland & G.Hoek (2011) "Do the Health Benefits of Cycling Outweigh the Risks?", Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August-1 September 2010: Travel-time Air Pollution Exposure, Energy Expenditure, and Health Outcomes: Use of New Technologies and Results, Epidemiology Vol 22(1) (abstract only) Summarised the literature for air pollution, traffic accidents & physical activity and quantified the impace on all-cause mortality if 500,000 people made the transition from a car to a bicycle for round trips of less than 7km. Estimate that shifting from a car to a bicycle on a daily basis would see 3-14 months life gained from increased physical activity, against 10-41 days life lost due to inhaled pollution and 0.6-1 day lost due to risk of accidents. Would also provide modest societal benefits due to reduced air pollution and traffic accidents.
  • RL. Mackett & B. Brown (2011) Transport, Physical Activity and Health: Present knowledge and the way ahead. Scanning study commissioned by the Department for Transport, London Examines the evidence for links between levels of physical activity and transport and finds that in order to increase levels of activity, there needs to be a reduction in the use of the car. This can be acheived through reducing individual car ownership and changes to the built environment. The impact would be a net saving to the national Health service.
  • A.C. Kusk, RA. Mekary, D. Feskanich, WC. Willett (2010), "Bicycle Riding, Walking, and Weight Gain in Premenopausal Women", Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol 170, no. 12 Based on a 16-year follow up of the Nurses' Health Study II. Normal weight women who cycled more than 4 hours a week were less likely to have gained more than 5% of their body weight over the period compared with non-cyclists. Obese or overweight women saw a similar effect with 2 to 3 hours a week. Women who had taken up cycling, even for as little as 5 minutes a day, gained less weight than those who had not.
  • Cycling England (2009), Cycling & Health What's the Evidence? - Very useful summary (with references) of all the available evidence on the health benefits of cycling. Regular physical activity of any kind reduces all-cause mortality, with mortality decreasing as activity increases. An inactive lifestyle doubles the risk of coronary heart disease and can increase the risk of developing diabetes by 30-50%, while walking and cycling are associated with reduced relative risk for diabetes and for dying of cancer (particularly colon cancer). Cycling or walking 30-60 minutes most days can prevent weight gain and physical activity of any kind has been shown to reduce symptoms of severe, moderate or mild depression. The Copenhagen Population study (Andersent et al - see below) showed reduced mortality for cyclists and increased mortality among those who reduced their level of cycling. Randomised controlled trials in the Netherlands have shown that cycling as part of normal everyday activity can improve fitness as much as a specific training programme. A UK study found that non-exercisers who took up cycling and who were overweight or obese reduced their body fat significantly, and participants also reported a greater sense of well-being, less tiredness and fewer medical symptoms. A 1980s study found occasional and regular cyclists enjoyed a level of fitness equivalent to being 5-10 years younger than non-cyclists. A BMA study in 1989 and follow ups found that even with hostile traffic conditions the benefits gained from regular cycling outweighed the risk of loss of life by around 20 to 1.
  • LB. Andersen, P. Schnohr, M. Schroll, HO. Hein (2000), "All-Cause Mortality Associated with Physical Activity During Leisure Time, Work, Sports, and Cycling to Work", Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 160, no. 11 Evaluated the relationship between levels of physical activity and all-cause mortality of people in Copenhagen and found that moderately and highly active people (men and women) experience only half the mortality of less active people. Cycling to work decreased the risk of mortality in approximately 40% even after adjusting for other factors such as leisure time activity.


  • Davis, A. (2014), Claiming the Health Dividend: A summary and discussion of value for money benefits to health from studies of investment in walking and cycling, Department for Transport, Assesses the evidence base from the literature into the economic benefits of cycling and walking interventions. DfT values 'very highly' any scheme which returns more than £4 for every £1 invested, but the mean benefit to cost ratio for all schemes is 6.28:1, and 5.62:1 for the UK alone. 
  • H. Garrett-Peltier (2013), Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A national study of employment impacts, Political Edonomy Research Institutue, Universtity of Massachusettes, Looks at the employment resulting from the design and construction of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure from 58 projects in 11 cities in the US. Found that building cycling infrastructure creates 11.4 jobs for every $1m, compared with 10 jobs for pedestrian-only projects and 9.6 jobs for shared use trails. Road only projects create just 7.8 jobs per $1m.
  • Glasgow Centre for Population Health (2013), Cycling is Good for Health and the Economy, Findings Series 37 Briefing Paper, Glasgow Centre for Population Health, Using 2001 census data and cordon counts of cyclists entering and leaving Glasgow 2009-12 and applying the HEAT tool to quantify potential health economic benefits from cycling, found that the mean annual economic benefit of existing cycling trips into the city was just over £3m in 2009, rising to £4m in 2012.
  • Becker, U, T. Becker & J. Gerlach (2012) The True Costs of Automobility: External costs of cars. Overview on existing estimates in EU-27, Technische Universitat Dresden
  • Tyler et al. (2012) The relevance of parking in the success of urban centres: A review for London Councils A desktop review of research found that there was little evidence that the availablity of parking but there seemed to be little correlation between parking and commercial success and that a good mix of shops and a quality environment are more important in attracting visitors.
  • European Parliament (2012) The European Cycle Route Network- Eurovelo An overview of cycle tourism in Europe, which is estimated to generate €44 billion per year, and a look specifically at the Eurovelo network.
  • Naess, P., Nicolaisen, M.S. and Strand, A. (2012) "Traffic Forecasts Ignoring Induced Demand: A shaky fundament for cost-benefit analyses", EJTIR, 12(3) - although the phenomenon of induced traffic is widely accepted, transport modelling often neglects to include it leading to a serious bias in the assessments of environmental impacts and the economic viability of proposed road projects.
  • Garrett-Peltier, Heidi (2011) Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A national Study of Employment Impacts. Political Economy Resesarch Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. - looks at the employment impacts of building & refurbishing transport infrastructure fo cyclists and pedestrians. Cycling infrastructure creates the most jobs for a given level of spending - 11.4 jobs for each $1million, compared to 10 for pedestrian only, 9.6 for multi-use trails, road-only and combined road and active facilities 7.8 jobs.
  • Grabow, M.L., et al., (2011) "Air Quality and Exercise-Related Health Benefits from Reduced Car Travel in the Midwestern United States", Environmental Health Perspectives, doi:10.1289/ehp.1103440 Simulated changes in pollution concentrations in Midwestern metropolitan areas and estimated the benefits from improved health from lower polution and increased physical activity if 50% of short trips were made by bike. Found that there would be combined benefits of over $7 billion a year and 1,100 fewer deaths due to lowered pollution and increased exercise.
  • Sustainable Development Commission (2011), Fairness in a Car-Dependent Society The UK has been described as the most car-dependent country in Europe, costing society as a whole £38-£49 billion in English urban areas alone. The negative inmpacts are unevenly distributed: the poorest children are more 28 times more likely to be killed on the roads than the richest, and car owners in the lowest income quintile spending 25% of household expenditure on motoring etc. 
  • Davis, A. (2010) Value for Money: An Economic Assessment of Investment in Walking and Cycling, Department of Health, Government Office for the South West, A report compiling the best available cost-benefit evidence from the UK and abroad and found that investment in walking and cycling is likely to provide low cost, high value options for many communities. The median result for all data identified is 13:1 and for UK data alone 19:1 - against a government threshold of 2:1 for 'high' value for money
  • Department for Transport (2010) Guidance on the Appraisal of Walking and Cycling Schemes, Transport Analysis Guidance, DfT Lays out in detail how the benefits of a proposed walking and cycling scheme should be estimated. Also includes some startlingly high cost-benefit ratios for greenway schemes based on increases in fitness, improved journey 'ambience', some cuts in congestion, improved absenteeism rates etc.
  • Smith, Andrew (2005), "The mode-shift benefit matrix", London Analytics Research Journal, issue 2, a cost-effective method to calculate the economic value of the costs and benefits of a scheme that is designed to cause a modal shift (in this case to walking).
  • K. Sælensminde (2004) "Cost-benefit Analyses of Walking and Cycling Track Networks taking into account insecurity, health effects and external costs of motorized traffic", Transportation Research Part A 38 (2004) 593-606, Cost-benefit analysis of walking and cycling track networks in 3 Norwegian cities, Hokksund, Hamar and Trondheim, taking into account that switching from a car to cycling or walking means reduced health costs, externalities (pollution and noise) and parking costs. Average construction costs were NOK 7500 per metre (USD 1050 at 2003 exchange rates), with annual maintenance costs of NOK35 per metre. Walking and cycle track networks provide 20% induced journeys, and replace 15% of current car journeys under 5km by walking or cycling, with about a 1/3 walking, the rest cycling. Found a net benefit/cost ratio of between 2.94% (Trondheim) and 14.34% (Hamar), reflecting the fact that Hamar's network was closer to being complete, while Trondheim was furthest from completion. Best estimate of future pedestrian and bike traffic corresponds to an increase from 5% to 9% in Hokksund and Hamar and from 9% to 13% in Trondheim. Net benefit/cost ratios for other transport investments were relatively lower.
  • Krag, T. (2002) "Commerce and Bicycles", Paper presented at ‘Trafikdage’ at Aalborg University, 2002. Translated from the Danish. A review of mostly continental European studies found that in town centres, pedestrians and cyclists shopped more frequently, so even though they spend less per trip than car drivers, in total they spent more. Shopkeepers tend to underestimate the number of customers who come by bike, making them reluctant to provide for them at the expense of car parking.


  • Eurobarometer (2014) Quality of Transport (summary: and full report: Latest transport figures for the European Union. 8% of people across Europe use their bikes as their primary means of transport - rising to 36% in the Netherlands. Convenience and speed were more important than cost when chosing a mode of transport.
  • A. Goodman (2013), "Walking, Cycling and Driving to Work in the English and Welsh 2011 Census: Trends, Socio-Economic Patterning and Relevance to Travel Behaviour in General", PLoS One, 8(8), DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071790 Using the census data for England and Wales correlated with National Travel Survey figures, found that England and Wales remain car dependent, with just 3.1% cycling to work. England and Wales remain car dependent, but socio-economically disadvantaged groups are slightly more likely to commute to work using active travel modes.
  • Le Vine, Scott & Peter Jones (2012) On the Move: Making sense of car and train travel trends in Britain, RAC Foundation - Examines whether driving is peaking in the UK & finds that most of the drop in mileage driven is accounted for by significant falls in the amount of company car usage (due to changes in the tax regime), and in driving by those living in or working in London. Outside London, driving was generally increasing until the recession, particularly among women. Provides plenty of statistics broken down by age, household circumstances etc, based mostly on the National Travel Survey statistics.
  • T. Kunimhof et al. (2012) "Men shape a downward trend in car use among young adults - evidence from six industrialized countries", T. Kunimhof et al. (2012) "Men shape a downward trend in car use among young adults - evidence from six industrialized countries", Transport Reviews: A Transnational Transdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 32(6) Based on National Travel Surveys from Germany, France, Great Britain, Japan, Norway and the US, finds that since the turn of the millennium, access to cars and average daily car travel has decreased especially among men. In Britain and Germany, this decline in car travel was partly replaced by increased use of alternative modes of transport.
  • Smith, Andrew (2005), "Gender and critical mass: Do high cycle flows correlate with a high proportion of female cyclists", London Analytics Research Journal, issue 1, finds that where cycling is uncommon it is largely done by men; larger cycling flows are more evenly balanced by gender. The increase in cycling in central London has been accompanied by a growth in the proportion of female cyclists.


Useful reports, often summarising the available evidence and providing onward links to the underlying research

  • British Cycling (2014), Benefits of Investing in Cycling, A good summary of the benefits, includes headline figures such as saving the NHS £17bn in 20 years, reducing road deaths by 30% & reducing cycling casualties by two-thirds.
  • League of American Bicyclists (2013) Women on a Roll: Benchmarking women's bicycling in the United States. Tackles some common myths about women & cycling and identifies the 'five Cs' of women's bicycling: comfort, convenience, confidence, consumer products and community. Women are still under-represented in advocacy groups, but if they can be engaged then they can transform the face of cycling in the US.
  • People for Bikes (2013) Selling Biking: A new study on the 'swing voters' of the street Surveyed a sample of people in San Francisco and Portland who owned bikes but didn't ride them much. Found that perceived safety was still the barrier that mattered and that they liked images of streets where everything had its own clear space (such as with protected bike lanes). As a slogan, the message that cycling made you 'healthier and wealthier' performed best
  • European Commission Reclaiming City Streets for People: Chaos or quality of life? - case studies fom Finland, the UK, Germany, France and Belgium, looking at the effect of traffic evaporation after road space restrictions

Additional resources

Evaluation Tools