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People fed up with overcrowding and squalor of public transport apparently

Driven out of public transport by overcrowding and squalor, and out of cars by congestion, two million new cycle commuters are set to take to the roads this spring, and three times that number of new cyclists will be out on their bikes for the first time.

That’s the optimistic claim arising from new research by Cycle to Work provider Cyclescheme.co.uk.

Commuters are apparently fed up of the frustrations of public transport. Half of those surveyed admit to being frequently late for meetings due to public transport, and one in twenty say they have been pickpocketed on their way to work.

And then there’s the ick factor of cramming on to buses and trains. A quarter have had a passengers’ armpit in their face, whilst a third have smelt a stranger’s morning breath.

More seriously, surveys show as many as 30 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment on public transport, an experienced that’s especially distressing when its impossible to get away.

Cyclescheme says one in ten Brits plan to change their journey to work in some way this spring. Two million people plan to ‘spring clean their commute’ by cycling to work for the first time.

Spring is the best time to try a new activity, according to psychologist Dr Anjula Mutanda. Research shows three in four people plan to make a ‘spring resolution’ this year, rather than New Year’s.

Dr Mutanda said: “Spring signals nature’s new start and we aren’t immune from it. The physiological affect on mood as well as positive associations with spring as a time of renewal make us want to engage in something new.

“Spring is perfect for new goals like cycling to work, because there is greater synchronicity between our physical environment and our mindset.”

As administered by Cyclescheme and its partner organisations in the Cycle to Work Alliance, the Cycle to Work scheme provides a tax break of 25 to 42 percent for the purchase of a new bike and accessories.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

55 comments

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georgee [167 posts] 2 years ago
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The Nodderpocolypse is here!

Appart from an increase in the numbers of Allez Man, I welcome the new road users.

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Timsen [71 posts] 2 years ago
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Good news but..... " there may be trouble ahead " whilst our new cycling friends and other road users get used to one another !

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jacknorell [971 posts] 2 years ago
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I expect a bunch of cyclists riding into other cyclists this spring...

Takes a while to get used to commuting.

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georgee [167 posts] 2 years ago
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jacknorell wrote:

I expect a bunch of cyclists riding into other cyclists this spring...

Takes a while to get used to commuting.

That's already upon us, one last week saw me having to readjust my rear brake, one shot past me when overshooting a pet crossing last night only to then witness one ride straight into the back of the other 200m down the road.

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
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If this were going to happen on this scale it would be wonderful.

But it won't. Because the research and extrapolations are ridiculous.

Nice simple easy to understand figure: 1 in 10 will change their commuting habits.

Nice simple easy to understand figure that'll get national press: 2 million new cyclists.

Its SO EASY!

So, lets say 20 million Brits commute in some way. That means of the 1 in 10 who are PLANNING (thinking about?) their commute, ALL of them are going to choose cycling, ALL of them will make good on this plan, and ALL of them can be counted as cycle commuters (does one go count?)

Well, these stats won't help CycleScheme in any way. And certainly won't get it any press.

.....oh.

Cycling is ace. More cyclists cycling are ace. Cycle commuting is ace. But baseless attention grabbing surveys designed for the press are BS.

Oops, got a bit annoyed there.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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We should be careful not to read too much into the figures from the "cycle to work" scheme. In my experience it's used by many people who already cycle, some of whom indeed already have several bikes.

We should all be asking ourselves whether giving affluent riders a 42% tax break on "yet another bike", and effectively asking other people to pay for that freebie through general taxation, is an appropriate use of resources when we live in a country where we don't even have the money to fix potholes.

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jmaccelari [243 posts] 2 years ago
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Two MILLION? Well, they're certainly not where I'm riding... (yet).

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aslongasicycle [383 posts] 2 years ago
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Lorks, its SIX million now.

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md6 [181 posts] 2 years ago
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During London tube strikes there are a lot of additional commute cyclists around. This is a good and a bad thing in equal measure. Good as more people are cycling, bad as lots of them are not exprienced in traffic and around other cyclists which can make them a little dangerous. Last tube strike i had one guy who would ride up behind and round to stop just infront and to the right of me at lights. At least he stopped. Then as soon as the lights turned he would veer left to get back to the pavement side of the road. After the third time i shouted at him, he had ignored my more polite suggestion not to swing wildly across the road at lights. Hopefully he will be back, but a little more road aware (and polite about his riding).

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joemmo [1164 posts] 2 years ago
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Press Release says:

Company With Commercial Interest In People Cycling To Work Says More People Are Going To Cycle To Work And They Are Totally Going To Be Really Busy Just In Time For Annual Funding Reviews Shock.

Daily Fails says:

PREPARE FOR THE LYCROPALYPSE! TERROR IN THE STREETS AS MILLIONS OF LETHAL CANCER CAUSING CYCLISTS UNLEASHED ON BRITAINS TRADITIONAL ROADS UNTAXED AND READY TO STEAL YOUR HARD-EARNED TARMAC HERITAGE AND PROBABLY TAKE IT BACK TO BULGARIA FOR THEIR 9 CHILDREN TO EAT

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Gashead [33 posts] 2 years ago
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@md6 I get several of these rude, selfish people every day coming in via Stockwell and Vauxhall Bridge to Green Park. Prime spot for shoalers is right in front of Buckingham Palace. I stop at the stop line for turning right into The Mall as dictated by the law only to see an ever increasing number of people pass in front of me, the heavier and potentially slower their bike, particularly Ken Bikes, the more directly in my path they will stop. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find that perfect line across to the run-off into Green Park as opposed to being stuck behind the shoalers unable to get under the railings just before the light-controlled crossing which seems to be timed to go red just as the prior traffic lights go green. First world problem maybe but it is staggering the number of people who have no sense of stopping at stop lines and not impeding those who do's progress. If they tried that at a cashpoint they would soon get told where to go!

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Leodis [405 posts] 2 years ago
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I have noticed more bikes in the racks for this time of the year, it goes back to normal rates by Thursday or if its heavy rain early on.

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workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
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More cyclists means more awareness of cyclists means more drivers expecting to see cyclists means fewer invisible gorillas and thus fewer SMIDSY's although...

...the number of cyclist-on-cyclist SMIDSY's will go up whilst the noobs learn to expect other cyclists.

..the number of existing cyclists suffering "this is my road and you must ride it my way, how very dare you be a noob" road-rage is likely to increase.

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workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
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georgee wrote:

The TFL cycleflow data shows there have been pretty healthy numbers going through the winter months despite the rain. Do consider that London grows 1,000 a week and not all of them can fit on the tube nextwork if they're to get to work.

As for the Daily Fail commentary, that was utter tosh, the commentary made not a single mention of House Prices.

There is a real danger to swans. The noobs will be starving after a couple of weeks vigorous commuting.

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georgee [167 posts] 2 years ago
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The TFL cycleflow data shows there have been pretty healthy numbers going through the winter months despite the rain. Do consider that London grows 1,000 a week and not all of them can fit on the tube nextwork if they're to get to work.

As for the Daily Fail commentary, that was utter tosh, the commentary made not a single mention of House Prices.

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fancynancy [78 posts] 2 years ago
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Nooooo.... sorry, but I get fed up with the noobs... & thats a lot of noobs  102

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fancynancy [78 posts] 2 years ago
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Nooooo.... sorry, but I get fed up with the noobs... & thats a lot of noobs  102

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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For those getting angry at the thought of "noobs" can I just ask what gearing set up you went for when you pedaled out of yer mam?

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ChairRDRF [309 posts] 2 years ago
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joemmo's post is BRILLIANT.
1. Cyclescheme say that their scheme is fantastic and everybody will ride a bike because of it.
2. The cycle-haters will, er, hate cyclists.

And everybody else says that they don't get on with lots of the new cyclists.

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nuclear coffee [213 posts] 2 years ago
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joemmo wrote:

Press Release says:

Company With Commercial Interest In People Cycling To Work Says More People Are Going To Cycle To Work And They Are Totally Going To Be Really Busy Just In Time For Annual Funding Reviews Shock.

Daily Fails says:

PREPARE FOR THE LYCROPALYPSE! TERROR IN THE STREETS AS MILLIONS OF LETHAL CANCER CAUSING CYCLISTS UNLEASHED ON BRITAINS TRADITIONAL ROADS UNTAXED AND READY TO STEAL YOUR HARD-EARNED TARMAC HERITAGE AND PROBABLY TAKE IT BACK TO BULGARIA FOR THEIR 9 CHILDREN TO EAT

Damn, you nearly forgot immigration  1

Probably next to a pic of a fruity female celeb straddling a dutch bike. Or, in the telegraph, with a half-page rapha advertorial overleaf.

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bikebot [2010 posts] 2 years ago
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joemmo wrote:

Daily Fails says:

PREPARE FOR THE LYCROPALYPSE! TERROR IN THE STREETS AS MILLIONS OF LETHAL CANCER CAUSING CYCLISTS UNLEASHED ON BRITAINS TRADITIONAL ROADS UNTAXED AND READY TO STEAL YOUR HARD-EARNED TARMAC HERITAGE AND PROBABLY TAKE IT BACK TO BULGARIA FOR THEIR 9 CHILDREN TO EAT

I can't remember if it was in the Fail, but during the recent coverage of the Paris smog cloud I saw a real comment from someone demanding that all cyclists be banned as he thought the pollution was caused by sweating.  24

I think my favourite news site comment though was from someone who got so angry they became a bit muddled and started calling cyclists "latex louts/loonies".

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bikebot [2010 posts] 2 years ago
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My good karma tip, which I've tried to do every spring for the past few years.

If you see someone locking up an obviously new bike with a shit lock, tell them what they need and how they should use it. Unlike some people on here, the bike thieves love noobs.

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dafyddp [391 posts] 2 years ago
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This is good news. Even if only 10% of the 2 million quoted came true, that still a staggering 200,000 people.With an election coming up in 2015, it's also 200,000 voters, so know may be a good time to open political negotiations.

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fancynancy [78 posts] 2 years ago
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When I first started commuting a fair few years ago I was very wary & respectful of everyone around me, bikes, peds, cars etc. I think its a matter of respect really. Noobs do not respect others, newbies are welcome  103 Its also a matter of knowing the highway code  45

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seven [154 posts] 2 years ago
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Bring out the gringos!

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giff77 [1256 posts] 2 years ago
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Leodis wrote:

I have noticed more bikes in the racks for this time of the year, it goes back to normal rates by Thursday or if its heavy rain early on.

Maybe this is what's happening.

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Sam Saunders [27 posts] 2 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

We should be careful not to read too much into the figures from the "cycle to work" scheme…
…We should all be asking ourselves whether giving affluent riders a 42% tax break on "yet another bike", and effectively asking other people to pay for that freebie through general taxation…

Tax adjustments to achieve shared objectives can be justified (as in the case of the Bike To Work Scheme) by showing that the Exchequer (and hence the nation) is likely to be better off by doing it than not doing it. Advantages to the individual beneficiaries are the mechanism, but only a dull witted or corrupt Chancellor would spend political energy trying to ingratiate the few. £400 to put one more bike in the road sends another £600 of spending into bike shops and their suppliers. It also adds to a range of savings in the public areas that benefit from more cycling and less driving. Pollution, congestion, long-term health, well-being and the rest.

To quibble with the effectiveness of that policy tool or to doubt its financial value is to sit in a very glum place. The same standard applied to fiscal measures in general would bring the Treasury (and the economy) to a full stop. It is only money of course and Government can print of much of that as they want. In periods of sluggish economic activity, shifting the money a bit more quickly is a good thing.

On another tack, I was embarrassed at the side swipes at new cyclists in some other posts. Very silly.

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Kapelmuur [335 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:
joemmo wrote:

Daily Fails says:

PREPARE FOR THE LYCROPALYPSE! TERROR IN THE STREETS AS MILLIONS OF LETHAL CANCER CAUSING CYCLISTS UNLEASHED ON BRITAINS TRADITIONAL ROADS UNTAXED AND READY TO STEAL YOUR HARD-EARNED TARMAC HERITAGE AND PROBABLY TAKE IT BACK TO BULGARIA FOR THEIR 9 CHILDREN TO EAT

I can't remember if it was in the Fail, but during the recent coverage of the Paris smog cloud I saw a real comment from someone demanding that all cyclists be banned as he thought the pollution was caused by sweating.  24

I think my favourite news site comment though was from someone who got so angry they became a bit muddled and started calling cyclists "latex louts/loonies".

The Telegraph motor cycling correspondent, Erin Baker, wrote a few weeks ago words to the effect that cyclists stopping in the advance boxes caused pollution because they slowed motor traffic thus making it use more fuel.

Avatar
Kapelmuur [335 posts] 2 years ago
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bikebot wrote:
joemmo wrote:

Daily Fails says:

PREPARE FOR THE LYCROPALYPSE! TERROR IN THE STREETS AS MILLIONS OF LETHAL CANCER CAUSING CYCLISTS UNLEASHED ON BRITAINS TRADITIONAL ROADS UNTAXED AND READY TO STEAL YOUR HARD-EARNED TARMAC HERITAGE AND PROBABLY TAKE IT BACK TO BULGARIA FOR THEIR 9 CHILDREN TO EAT

I can't remember if it was in the Fail, but during the recent coverage of the Paris smog cloud I saw a real comment from someone demanding that all cyclists be banned as he thought the pollution was caused by sweating.  24

I think my favourite news site comment though was from someone who got so angry they became a bit muddled and started calling cyclists "latex louts/loonies".

The Telegraph motor cycling correspondent, Erin Baker, wrote a few weeks ago words to the effect that cyclists stopping in the advance boxes caused pollution because they slowed motor traffic thus making it use more fuel.

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cyclingDMlondon [498 posts] 2 years ago
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Leodis wrote:

I have noticed more bikes in the racks for this time of the year, it goes back to normal rates by Thursday or if its heavy rain early on.

I'd noticed that, too. We have eight showers in the changing room, and if you're not there by 07:15, you've got a wait on your hands.

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