The Centre for Challenge Prizes at Nesta has launched two prizes to harness UK ingenuity to increase the number of people cycling across the UK. The prizes are supported by Nesta and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
This video, filmed at our Cycling Challenges workshop in July, sums up why you should enter the challenge prize and what we're looking for.
Whether as a means of getting around locally for individuals and families, or for the daily commute, cycling presents a healthy, environmentally friendly, low cost form of transport.
It has been estimated by a study carried out by Transport for London and Mayor of London that road transport currently contributes around 70 per cent of air pollution in UK towns and cities damaging the local environment, climate and biodiversity. Cycling is a pollution free form of transport that creates no harmful emissions. For each adult that switches from a car to a bicycle for a commuting journey of two and a half miles each way, for 80 days a year, there would be a reduction in the cost of traffic emissions by £69 each year. By encouraging greater uptake of cycling as an alternative to car use, significant benefits in terms of improved local air quality can be seen, particularly in carbon emissions.
In addition there would be significant health benefits. According to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50 per cent. We've put together a factsheet of stats on the potential benefits of cycling which you can download here.
Now is a good time to act! 2012 represents an exciting year for cycling, with the Olympics and the Summer of Cycling along with a range of other campaigns. We aim to increase the use of cycling as mode of transport by finding the innovations that best tackle security issues and increase the numbers and frequency of employees cycling to and from work.