Benefits vs risks of cycling
On Monday Sustrans London launched a piece of work which will be looking at Air Quality on London Greenways. The launch was timed to coincide with the inaugural World Environmental Health Day. They will be announcing the results of their work in early December once their monitoring sites have been analysed and will ensure that we get a copy of their report and summary. In the meantime, please keep an eye on their policy page for updates on the work they are doing here in London.
"At the launch meeting on Monday, a discussion came up about new research from the Netherlands which looked at the wider health benefits of cycling against the risks. Attached is the research which they hope will be of use. For those who do not have time to read it, the conclusion is pasted below."*
On average, the estimated health benefits of cycling were substantially larger than the risks of cycling relative to car driving. For the society as a whole, this can be even larger because there will be a reduction in air pollution emissions and eventually fewer traffic accidents. Policies stimulating cycling are likely to have net beneficial effects on public health, especially if accompanied by suitable transport planning and safety measures.
* Ashok from LCC was concerned that Simon Birkett's campaign http://www.cleanairinlondon.org/ might scare cyclists off roads