A £2.5 billion saving to the NHS and an £830 million boost to the British economy is predicted by 2025 if current trends in cycle commuting culture continue, according to a Cyclescheme report.
Far greater savings are also well within the realms of possibility according to the Cycle to Work scheme provider's figures which suggest 27% of the population are prospective first-time commuters.
The Cycling 10:10 report was created to look back over the last decade since Cyclescheme’s inception as well as looking ahead to the state of cycling over the next ten years.
The report explores the impact that the growth in the number of cycle commuters will have on the NHS's finances, and the boost to the economy from a healthier and happier workforce, as well listing the company's top 12 most anticipated technological advancements for the next decade.
Using Office for National Statistics figures, the report indicates that by 2025 there will be 1,226,750 commuters cycling to work. It's pointed out, however, that this prediction does not factor in the Cyclescheme data which says that 27% of the working population are considering their first commute, and one in ten cyclists are encouraging others to cycle to work, a factor which the report suggests could see even greater growth in cycle commuters in the next decade.
The report explores the physical health benefits and subsequent reduced strain on NHS resources that widespread cycle commuting will provide, alongside the improvement in mental health and professional productivity that cycling appears to have on workers.
Improved heart health, obesity prevention, and reduced stress are just a few of the benefits that the NHS suggest cycling regularly can offer. These same benefits are among those which Cyclescheme's report says will reduce the strain on the NHS's costs by £250 million per year over the next decade.
Cyclescheme predict that these improvements will lead to a big boost for the British economy as well as adding over ten million combined healthy years to the nation’s lifespan over the next two decades.
The claims that the British economy will see an £830 million windfall thanks to growth in the number of workers commuting by bike comes from a January 2015 briefing by the national cycling charity CTC.
That prediction follow on from those also made by the CTC in January that the economy could see a £248bn boost over the next three and a half decades should the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's recommendations in its 2013 Get Britain Cycling report be implemented.
The effect of technological growth on the nation’s cycling habits is also touched upon in the report. While it doesn't go as far as to make too many suggestions as to how technological improvements will affect the safety of cyclists, it does look ahead to the most exciting technological innovations recently launched or expected over the coming decade.
According to the report, those are:
1. Indestructible bicycle tyres
2. Indicator cycle jacket
3. The Hornit: extra loud bicycle horn
4. Rust-proof bicycles
5. Solar powered electric bicycles
6. Automatic-geared bicycles
7. Bicycle satellite navigation system
8. Augmented reality bicycle glasses
9. Digital padlocks
10. Airbag helmets
11. Foldable e-bikes
12. Lycra alternative; Skin protecting gel
The report was published using statistics from a range of studies undertaken by leading UK cycling organisations, Cyclescheme's own annual survey, and research consultants Populus' February survey.
The report was also based on consultation with British Cycling, sustainable transport charity Sustrans, cycle fashion retailer CycleChic, bike manufacturers Brompton and representatives of the Dutch Embassy and the Danish Cycling Federatoin.