Cycling push aids health budgets

Sustrans - a charity that promotes sustainable transport - has revealed that in 2009, the Cycling Network carried 407 million cycling and walking journeys.

Highlighting the advantages of the network, the charity said it is capable of helping the Government to save on health as well as transport budgets.

Last year, the health benefit of walking and cycling journeys on the network was estimated at £384 million, according to Sustrans.

The network, which was started in September 1995, could also help make carbon savings worth £32 million. The statistics were released to mark its 15th anniversary.

The network, which is described as a cost-effective solution, carries over one million walking and cycling journeys every day. It is currently 12,600 miles long.

Over the last nine years it grew in length by 200%, with cycle trips increasing by 400% and walking journeys by 300%.

Sustrans chief executive Malcolm Shepherd said: "With public spending at a crossroads we have a unique opportunity to save on transport budgets and give people more choice on how they travel.

"Our work shows just how easy it is for people to make different travel choices if they are given the opportunity - more than three million people used the National Cycle Network in 2009."

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