Government Supporting Cycle to Work |


Government Supporting Cycle to Work

Taxes can be used to encourage good behavior, as well as bad. Stamps on fags, a premium on lager, and the congestion travel permit… All of these serve to encourage the public to adopt certain behaviors.

The City of London has seen the rapid rise of both congestion in the streets, and the growing waistlines of the average denizen. The question became, how to handle these tasks?

For a while, these where handled separately. Health programs tried to convince those at risk of obesity to adjust their lifestyles, while public transportation was expanded to give more viable alternative to personal transportation.

At one point, someone looked at these two endeavors and had a brilliant idea. Why not combine the two efforts, and try to have your cake and eat it too? The benefits were numerous:

The Government Cycle to Work Scheme promises to provide a healthy, cheap, and fun way of tackling both traffic and health woes.

  • Lowered risks of vehicular accidents.

    • Fewer drivers in the city.

    • Slower speed limits imposed.

  • Healthier Population

    • More exercise, reducing risk of illness keeping people from work.

    • Long-term health risks reduced, lessening strain on the social welfare budget.

    • Increased exercise tends to lower the risk of depression, so the populace would be a bit happier.

  • Reduces demand on public transportation.

    • Focuses public transportation on tourists and the infirm.

    • Makes it easier to perform maintenance, but reducing the need of vehicles at any given time.

  • Populace gets around the city more quickly.

    • Easier to handle a flood of bikers than a torrent of cars.

    • No need for people to plan trips around complex schedules subject to change.

  • Lowering maintenance needs.

    • A bike weighs less than a car, causing less stress on the road. This ultimately causes less stress fracture to the pavement.

With all the benefits determined, the question became how to convince people to bike instead of using more traditional vehicles.

  • Taxes on cars during peak travel times.

    • Provides incentive to not drive.

    • Provides additional income to mitigate increased wear and tear on the roads.

  • Dedicated Bike Lanes

    • Reducing risk of accidents.

    • Improving flow of bicycle traffic throughout the city.

    • Dedicated bicycle “highways.”

  • Public Campaign

    • Support of advocacy groups.

    • Include bicycle racks on buses and trains.

    • Hosting regular events for bike riders.

  • Tax Breaks on Bikes

    • Lowers cost of entry to the bike market for participants.

    • Improves public perception of the concept – the government is putting its money where its mouth is.

Not everything in London is dedicated towards business, a fact that the city government knows well. Throughout the year, the city hosts several bike-friendly events to highlight the beneficial role the bicycle has played in shaping the modern landscape.

  • Tweed Run – All participants wear clothing that matches what was in vogue when bicycles first appeared on the scene.

  • Mayor of London’s Sky Ride – An annual event that takes place in the heart of London. Numerous activities are planned, and the city center is made inaccessible to motorized traffic.

  • Critical Mass – A weekly gathering where cyclists get together to “reclaim the streets.” Good family fun for all ages.

  • Dunwich Dynamo – An annual overnight bike ride from London to Dunwich.


Biking to work has been considered an environmentally friendly, and cheap, alternative to using motorized traffic for decades. At one point, it was the predominant way of going from place to place for those who could not afford a horse.

Now, with the health of British people in such bad form, the bicycle is stepping up as a valuable tool in the war on obesity.

For the City of London, the bicycle provides a solution to the thorny issue of personal transportation within the city. There is not enough infrastructure to support motorized traffic, and not everyone wishes to use mass transit.

The bicycle is a good compromise; it provides swift transport to any destination without forcing the user to follow any particular schedule.

With tax breaks and public support, the government has stepped up to the plate to convince the populace to set aside their cars, and enjoy the fresh air of the city. The question become not if people will ride, but how much and where to put all the bikes?