Bike Beats Car!

11th June 2001
news
release

Green Transport Week: Day 1

Cyclists raced drivers to work across Manchester this morning and the bikes won! The event was the first in a series of activities everyday this week to celebrate “Green Transport Week” [1]. Manchester Friends of the Earth (FoE) organised several cyclists to race against car drivers on various routes across the city, whilst naturally respecting all speed limits and road traffic laws.

The aim of the event was to demonstrate that journey times are likely to be similar or even favour cyclists on a “door to door” basis. Three sets of cyclists and car drivers set off from various home locations to various work locations. The times were:

In virtually all cases the cyclists arrived first. Apart from getting there quicker, cycling also has other advantages:

Cycling is good for your health! Cyclists, because of their position on and height above the road, only inhale one third [2] of the pollutants that pedestrians and car drivers do. Cycling regularly also helps to reduce the risk of suffering from heart disease, obesity and strokes [3]. Cycling saves you cash! An average small car costs its owner approximately £80 per week to run including depreciation [4], the comparative cost of running a decent quality bicycle is just £3 per week [5].

Nearly half of all journeys could easily be done by cycle. 45% of all journeys are less than 2
miles, 72% less than 5 miles, and there are no parking concerns with a bike! [6]

Cycling is green and clean! Cycles emit no pollutants that harm our health and our children’s health, or contribute to the threat of climate change.

Richard Dyer, Transport Campaigner for Manchester Friends of the Earth, said:
“It was good to see the cyclists getting in quicker than the car drivers. Not only did they get to work faster but they also improved their health and our environment at the same time. We hope that others will consider swapping their cars for bikes at least one day a week, especially for next Wednesday’s Bike to Work Day” [7]

ENDS

For More Information
Michael Bane, Campaigns Coordinator, Manchester FoE: 0161 275 6134 (w) / 07 947 606 950 (m)

NOTES:
1. Green Transport Week (9-16 June) is promoted by the Environmental Transport Association and Manchester FoE are organising a media event each weekday (11-15 June). Press releases for each event are available from http://www.mcrfoe.dabsol.co.uk/

2. “Road User Exposure to Pollution” (Environmental Transport Association)
3. “Promoting Cycling: Improving Health” (National Cycling Forum)

4. “Which Car 2000” (Which magazine)
5. Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign: http://www.gmcc.org.uk/

6. “Taming the Traffic” (Friends of the Earth) and “National Cycling Strategy” (Dept. of
Environment, Transport & the Regions)

7. Bike to Work Day, Weds 20 June, is part of National Bike Week. The Council are laying on breakfast available between 7am and 10am in Lincoln Square: see
http://www.manchester.gov.uk/visitorcentre/events.