Cycling can be a real time saver – a bonus for those of us with ever increasing busy lifestyles. You can save time getting to and from work, make extra time by cycling instead of going to the gym and even have more time to do those leisure activities you have always wanted to do but never seem to have the time for. Leaving the car at home and commuting to work by bicycle, especially in cities such as Manchester, can mean that you actually arrive at work earlier and in a better frame of mind.

Did you know?

  • Commuter trips of less than four miles are usually quicker by bike than by car [1].
  • You can cover 4 miles in an average of 22 minutes in Central London by bike, when it takes about 40 minutes by car [2].
  • Cars cost a lot of money, and time is money. For example, if your car costs you £4,500 a year and you make £30,000 a year, then 1.2 hours of every 8-hour work day goes towards paying for your car. By that measurement, cars are much less efficient than bikes.

Beat Congestion

Cycling at an average of ten miles an hour [1] is easily achievable without breaking a sweat so many journeys within the urban environment can be quicker on the bike than the bus and often quicker than by car. This means if you live within 5 miles of the city centre your commute would be just 30 minutes. And since you’re almost entirely unaffected by congestion your journey time rarely changes.

Journey Times

Commuting by bike is not only faster than commuting by car but can also be quicker than other forms of transport. For example, a recent competition held in Edinburgh saw cyclists from four areas outside the city challenge buses to see which mode of transport was the quickest in reaching the city centre [3]. Cyclists were the clear winners! A study in Europe [4] also showed that when travel time is measured from door to door for short-distance travel up to 5 km in length, bicycles are generally faster than all other modes of travel. Similar results were found in London [5]. In a city like Manchester, you could expect time savings like these!

Average journey times over 4 miles in Central London
Bicycle 22 minutes
Tube 30 minutes
Car 40 minutes
Bus 62 minutes
Pedestrian 90 minutes

Still looking for a parking space?

But remember that drive time is only part of the commute! There is also the parking. Even if it is free, it’s not always close. Even if it is close it’s not always vacant. How long do you have to spend driving around looking for a parking spot? Are you afraid to leave your parking spot at lunch for fear of not finding another upon your return? These hassles and the time wasted on parking your car is not an issue if you cycle.

Love your lifestyle

Cycling can also free up time and make it easier to have that more relaxed lifestyle you dream about. Because you’re getting exercise at the same time as travelling you can cancel that subscription to the gym and, as well as saving money on membership fees, you can save the time you used to spend sitting on a stationary bike at the gym. Gyms are often not located right next door to where you live so you are also wasting time travelling to get to the gym. Add the time you spend at the gym trying to get some exercise and compensating for a driving lifestyle to the time you spend driving to the gym and you will see how quickly all that extra time adds up.

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