Cycle to cut air pollution that’s the message this week from Sustrans. Air pollution has been in the news a lot recently and is both a developed/developing problem although far worse in the developing world where there is a lot more industrial pollution and cooking on open fires.
The idea to cycle to cut air pollution is one that would cut 8300 deaths in England and 4000 in Scotland. The savings to the public purse would be almost £10 billion over the next decade UK wide. How much cycling does this require? If 10% of all journeys were made by bike this would meet the targets above.
There is a lot of talk of electric cars but as we outlined in our book these have their own problems. Apart from not sorting out the issues of congestion almost half of air pollution generated from cars is not from the engine but from brakes and tyres. Clearly the general population have to be convinced that its safe and worthwhile to cycle. But it seems that to solve this problem they will have to be. On the plus side cities with cycling majorities are more pleasant to live in (the actions of some cyclists being left aside) and building cycling lanes is far cheaper than building roads.