By investing relatively small amounts of money in high quality cycling infrastructure, it is possible radically to improve the number of people cycling. This has a range of benefits including healthier employees, fitter children, reduced motor traffic congestion, reduced pollution within and around the city, and the ability to build Cambridge’s reputation as the bicycle capital of the UK. This enhances the vision of Cambridge as the innovative centre of the UK and Europe. It increases the value of Cambridge as a tourism destination, not just for a day trip, but for a week long cycling bonanza.
It is the quality of the infrastructure that counts. Cambridgeshire needs to invest in world class infrastructure to remain the economic heart of the eastern counties. Cycleways that link the main employment centres, the main retail centres, and the new housing developments are essential to avoid the traffic gridlock that would be inevitable without such investment. By enabling people to choose cycling over driving, the cycleways free up road space for people who have chosen to drive. This is only possible if the infrastructure is of the highest possible standard, to make people feel safe. Only when people feel safe cycling will they adopt cycling in the levels required to achieve the 40% goal.
People love Cambridgeshire because of what it represents: its open space, its shopping, the employment and educational opportunities. In essence, it is the environment that matters. Cycling is the only transport option that can enhance the environment of Cambridge and the surrounding area.