Cycling infrastructure produces high benefits for low costs

Cycling infrastructure costs about 1/30th as much as railways and produces three times as much benefit/£1bn invested.

Here are some figures

  • £11m for 5km of CS6 (from Elephant and Castle to King’s Cross) = £2.2m/km
  • £47m for  CS3 (9.2 km from Tower Hill to Lancaster Gate) = £5.1m/km
  • £70m for 6km of CS9 (from Olympia to Housnlow) = £11.6/km
  • £55m for the 4km of CS4  (from Tower Bridge to Greenwich) = £13.7/km

Cost of Bakerloo Line Extension will cost £3.1bn for 7.5km = £413.3m/km. The capacity would be 21,000 passengers/hour in one direction during the rush hour.

The London Underground carries 1.37 billion passengers/year on its 402km network = 3.4m/km

The DLR Gospel Oak to Barking  Extension (BRE) will cost £263 million for 4km = £65m/km forecasting 2,400 passengers/hour in the AM peak

The Embankment section of cycle superhighway CS3 carries 340,000 cyclists in 6 weeks (3m/year) and since there is only one counter this can be taken as 3m/km. Traffic is on a steep upward curve and will soon rise above the passenger volume of an average km of underground. So let’s reflect:

  • construction costs are 30 times greater for a kilometre of Underground than a kilometre of cycleway
  • the Benefit:Cost Ratio for cycle mass transit vs Cross Rail is much better than for rail mass transit and the analysis is similar for the Cambridge Guided Busway
  • cycle infrastructure can be built in about 1/10th of the time it takes to build a railway (1 year instead of 10 years)
  • cycle superhighways generate no revenue
  • the London Underground does not make a profit
  • cycling does not contribute to climate change
  • cycling does not cause air pollution

So we should all attend the National Funeral for the Unknown Cyclist on 13th October 2018

See also:

Tom Turner