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Findings Series 37 - Cycling is good for health and the economy

Date: May 2013
Category: Briefing Paper
Author: Fiona Crawford, Bruce Whyte

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Cycling represents extremely good value for money for both individual and public health.

Using an online tool created by the World Health Organization that calculates the health economic benefits from cycling, the GCPH research team found that the annual health economic benefit accruing from cycle trips into and out of Glasgow city centre in 2012 was over £4 million. This is likely to underestimate benefits as the analysis only accounts for reduced mortality and not for reduced illness and other health benefits conferred by cycling.

This report is one of the latest outputs from GCPH’s research on transport and travel patterns in the West of Scotland and provides welcome good news regarding travel behaviour. The analysis found that levels of cycling into and out of Glasgow city centre have increased by more than 25% since 2009. This rise is likely to reflect a combination of factors such as the impact of the economic recession, improvements to cycling infrastructure in the city and a growing public lobby in favour of cycling.