Higher fuel prices = cycling boom

Higher fuel prices = cycling boom

CTC, the national cycling charity, predicts an extra 1.25 million trips will be made by bicycle every day due to the rising price of petrol and diesel.

After the last oil crisis in 1979 when fuel prices rocketed, cycling increased by almost 40%. With fuel prices higher than ever recorded CTC expects thousands of motorists to leave their cars at home and go to work by bike instead.

CTC Director Kevin Mayne said: “The amount commuters pay for fuel has a direct correlation with people deciding to take up cycling. Going by bike to work is a cheap, quick, healthy and an environmentally friendly way to commute and as people look to save money where they can, it’s the obvious choice”.

It’s not just commuters who bike to work who save money. According to a study by Cycling England every new cyclist contributes an economic benefit of up to £382 to the nation. So a 40% increase in cycling would provide at least £1bn worth of benefits.

In anticipation of a boom in cycling to work, CTC has rushed forward the launch of the Bike to Work package to support people leaving their cars for bicycles. The package costs £52 per year and includes breakdown assistance, insurance and all the benefits of being a CTC member. For more information about CTC’s ‘Bike to Work’ package see www.ctc.org.uk/commuter.

Kevin Mayne added: “If you are considering going by bike to work, now is the perfect time. You’ll save money on fuel, the weather is good and CTC is launching ‘Bike to Work’ which provides cyclists with similar breakdown assistance to motorists, £10m third party insurance and CTC membership for just £1 per week.”

There are so many benefits to leaving the car at home and travelling by bike to work instead. Here are CTC’s top five:

  1. It saves you money – no petrol, tax or parking charges.
  2. It’s twice as fast as a car in rush hour.
  3. It’s efficient.
  4. It’s environmentally friendly.
  5. It keeps you fit and healthy too. 
Contact information 

CTC Press Office
Email: publicity@ctc.org.uk
Telephone: 0844-736-8453

Notes to editors 
  • CTC, the national cycling charity, with 70,000 members and affiliates in 250 clubs across the UK, is the oldest and largest cycling body in the UK, established in 1878. We provide a comprehensive range of services, advice, events, and protection for our members and work to promote cycling by raising public and political awareness of its health, social and environmental benefits. For more information see www.ctc.org.uk.
  • Following the oil price shock in 1979 levels of cycling increased from 4.6 billion kilometres cycled (the same level as 2006) to 6.4 billion kilometres in 1982, a 39% increase. 1.8bn km = 1.125 bn extra miles. According to the National Travel Survey the average cycle trip is 2.4 miles long. This 1.125bn extra miles equates to around 1.284 million trips per day.
  • Cycling England’s report Valuing the benefits of cycling - http://www.cyclingengland.co.uk/viewer.php?fd=225 - was published last year. Using its figures CTC calculate the benefits by 2015 of cycling increasing 40% at around £1 billion. Breakdown below



Approximate benefit from each cyclist

40% increase in cycling (£m)

Reduction in premature deaths 

£11.16 - £242.07


Reduced NHS costs

£87.06 - £175.51


Reduced absence from work



Reduced pollution



Reduced congestion






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Cycling UK continues to support the UK to cycle
This remains true during this difficult period with the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19