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CYCLING-AND-SOCIETY  October 2018

CYCLING-AND-SOCIETY October 2018

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Subject:

Re: new Conversation piece on addressing driver behaviour and cultural change, based on recent evidence and reports

From:

CUMMINS Gary <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Cycling and Society Research Group discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 2 Oct 2018 12:36:40 +0000

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All, it may have been mentioned before, and Andrew below has touched on it, but in the example he uses of the UK there are all the external benefits of the 'expensive infrastructure'. So the reduced cost to the NHS as a result of lower obesity levels and improved fitness. Lower death rates as a result of poor air quality due to less people using motor vehicles, and lower death rates and the resulting impact on the emergency services. 
 
Gary 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Cycling and Society Research Group discussion list [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Andrew Saffrey 
Sent: 02 October 2018 10:16 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: new Conversation piece on addressing driver behaviour and cultural change, based on recent evidence and reports 
 
Dear Peter, Dear Tom. 
 
By asserting that infrastructure is “expensive” and that a culture shift can be just as or more effective, I think we need to take a step back and think about what steps are required to achieve the latter in reality, when considering observed human behaviour and attitudes. 
 
It is widely quoted that the Netherlands spends about £10 per head per year on developing and maintaining its cycling infrastructure.  This works out pro rata to £600-700 million per annum if this were applied to the UK, which I am using as my barometer for this example.  The UK’s total highways infrastructure budget (central and local government) is £10 bn pa (source: https://www.racfoundation.org/data/road-user-taxation-highways-spending-data-chart).  Even if we spend £20 or £30 per annum on developing a cycling network – to allow for an up front capital cost to build infrastructure from scratch – that is 20% of the total highways budget.  When a lot of cycling infrastructure can be delivered at marginal cost within existing programmes, then maybe that percentage is a slight overstatement. 
 
If you are advocating a “hearts and minds” only approach, this will no doubt require a significant publicity drive (no pun intended).  New laws will also require advertising, as evidenced by the current campaign about how to use Smart Motorways and the annual drink-driving campaigns around Christmas (despite laws now having been in place for longer than I've been alive).  The UK advertising market is approximately £20 bn pa (source: https://www.statista.com/topics/1747/advertising-in-the-united-kingdom/).  It is estimated that auto manufacturers represent 20% of the top 100 companies' advertising accounts (source: http://www.autonews.com/article/20161209/RETAIL03/161209824/volkswagen-group-leads-automotive-spending-on-advertising), so suggesting a figure of no more than £4 bn per annum.  The UK government currently spends about £4m per annum (0.1% of the auto advertising budget) on road safety campaigns (source: https://www.bewiser.co.uk/news/press-releases/budget-road-safety-advertising-better-spent-traffic-calming-measures), but this should be considered against the spending at local government level (but this has also been slashed in recent years under the guise of austerity).  Clearly this would need to be ramped up significantly to compete with the car advertising currently nudging the public consciousness in the favour of motor hegemony. 
 
I personally do not think that infrastructure alone is sufficient, and that advertising and promotion of new infrastructure and new laws is required – but I remain unconvinced that non-infrastructure measures in isolation can be as effective as a combination of hard infrastructure and softer measures.  The figures for the total advertising spend that soft measures need to compete against should provide food for thought. 
 
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