Is cycling being oversold as free?

mark a.
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby mark a. » 9 Nov 2010, 12:03am

Aren't those congestion costs based on a guessed delayed time and an assumed cost per hour? So the £12bn+ congestion cost is assuming that cars wouldn't normally be delayed at all.

Therefore the money "earned" by thousands of people saving time by driving as opposed to cycling or walking (over longer distances) must be in the hundreds of billions of pounds.

I have a feeling my logic could be flawed there, though.

Edit: corrected for billions instead of millions
Last edited by mark a. on 9 Nov 2010, 9:39am, edited 1 time in total.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby hubgearfreak » 9 Nov 2010, 12:19am

mark a. wrote:Aren't those congestion costs based on a guessed delayed time and an assumed cost per hour? So the £12m+ congestion cost is assuming that cars wouldn't normally be delayed at all.


the CBI came up with a figure of £20b that assumes all roads running free always. the government suggested that road pricing could save business £12b, making the roads a lot less congested but accepting that congestion would not be wiped out. the British Chambers of Commerce say £17.55b

whilst some of these figures need to be adjusted for inflation, they're not as old as your £12m it's counted in billions whoever's estimate you take :wink:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /21805.htm
http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/zones ... iness.html

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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby Vorpal » 9 Nov 2010, 8:26am

When I take the train, I normally take my bike with me. However, about 2 - 3 times per year, I take my kids into London. As we can't take the bike-trailer combination on the train, I lock the bike up on the fence outside the station, and take the trailer as a buggy.

I would be prepared to pay a bit for a secure & insured place to put my bike, and up to £1 for a good stand placed where it can be observed by either car park or station personnel and CCTV. Obviously, something like this would need discounts for regular users, but I have trouble finding a decent space to put my bike on ~200 metres of fencing because by the time I get to the station (after 9.00 to get a travel card) the fence is bedecked in bikes.
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essexman
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby essexman » 9 Nov 2010, 8:45am

I agree with greybeard to some extent.

From a UK PLC point of view cycling should be encouraged due to the low cost/high benefit ratio.

To the individual having cycle parking on their land, where is the profit, particularly when that land could be used for high profit car parking. I've met this argument several times, when campaigning, particularly from local and town councils.

Here's some ideas:
-To a space limited station, bikes enable more people to use the trains.
-To shopping areas, they can increase footfall, which equals income

Any more ideas?
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OldGreyBeard
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby OldGreyBeard » 9 Nov 2010, 8:56am

Cycle parking is often located in unusable/derelict areas of stations that couldn't be used for car poarking BUT there is the upfront investment in shelters, CCTV cameras etc. Who pays for this? There is a strong argument that the public good is served by encouraging cycling and therefore it should be paid for by the public purse but that isn't a commercial argument. Secure parking with the managment overhead of attendants, access tokens and so on is more expensive but arguably better overall value as security is one of the aspects of cycling that puts current non-cyclists off.

I was discussing this issue with a, cycling, colleague and he opined that "cyclists were tight b*******" and wouldn't pay for anything. Possibly true but what about all that expensive kit?

Has the cost of ownership & use of bikes been downplayed to an extent that is in the end is counterproductive? Would it be better if cyclists accepted that using a bike isn't free once 3rd party & theft insurance, maintenance etc are taken into account and accepted it?

One shouldn't forget that motorists moan endlessly about paying for parking as well as the other costs of running a car so perhaps it's just human nature but I wonder if cycling culture would benefit from change in this area or whether it will change as more people ditch the car and start cycling as the cheaper but not free choice.
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Richard Mann
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby Richard Mann » 9 Nov 2010, 9:37am

Providing cycle parking is mostly a case of:
(1) Deciding that there's a bit of land that is unlikely to be viable for anything else much
(2) Getting round to it

Most businesses can scrape together enough funds to do minor things that make their customers' life easier (and that includes rail businesses), but sometimes they need a little bit of encouragement (be that big stick of Franchise reletting or planning consent, or a polite customer request). So write them a nice letter and offer to meet on site, and give them some ideas.

Richard

mark a.
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby mark a. » 9 Nov 2010, 9:38am

hubgearfreak wrote:the CBI came up with a figure of £20b that assumes all roads running free always. the government suggested that road pricing could save business £12b, making the roads a lot less congested but accepting that congestion would not be wiped out. the British Chambers of Commerce say £17.55b

whilst some of these figures need to be adjusted for inflation, they're not as old as your £12m it's counted in billions whoever's estimate you take :wink:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /21805.htm
http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/zones ... iness.html


Thanks. From the first link the European study put congestion costs around £15bn (I got the order of magnitude right this time!), so we are looking in the region of £10-£20bn I suppose.

It's probably still a fairly fatuous number: I guess it assumes that any time wasted through congestion would have otherwise been spent doing productive, value-added work. There are too many tea breaks and pointless meetings for that assumption to be true!

But still, using the same logic of time = money, then drivers must "earn" the country shed-loads of money compared to if we all cycled or took the train.

Anyway, that's all a sort of bit off topic for the OP, but it can be related. Yes, cycling isn't free (purchasing and maintenance, for example), but it can be quicker than cars and therefore "earns" money. Sticking to railways as an example, I reckon that for the stations I use it's quicker to park your bike up and hop on a train than it is to find a car parking space (probably at the far end of the car park) and walk from there to the train. This time saving = money earned (albeit by the government and not directly by the train operator). Obviously it's the total home-to-train time that's important, so the bike needs to be quicker than the car getting to the station as well. This is true for the short commutes to the station I do and is especially true for London and other congested areas.

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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby Richard Mann » 9 Nov 2010, 9:48am

mark a. wrote:But still, using the same logic of time = money, then drivers must "earn" the country shed-loads of money compared to if we all cycled or took the train.


There's no value associated with saving time for commuters: the congestion figures are for people driving cars/vans/lorries for business.

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hubgearfreak
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby hubgearfreak » 9 Nov 2010, 11:49am

Richard Mann wrote:There's no value associated with saving time for commuters:.


tell that to someone on the M6/M25/M40 at tea time tonight, crawling along at 5mph, when they could be at home with their family/ in pub with friends

there's no financial value to companies/ the economy, but there's a cost to people's free time that could easily enough be assigned a value in addition to the extra cost of fuel used

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Cunobelin
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby Cunobelin » 9 Nov 2010, 7:31pm

Richard Mann wrote:
mark a. wrote:But still, using the same logic of time = money, then drivers must "earn" the country shed-loads of money compared to if we all cycled or took the train.


There's no value associated with saving time for commuters: the congestion figures are for people driving cars/vans/lorries for business.


There should be!

This morning myself and the two other cyclists where on time and the car drivers all late due to the "weather" and "traffic". There is therefore a cost - to my department the cost in lost time today was £140

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Nov 2010, 9:13pm

Cunobelin wrote:
Richard Mann wrote:
mark a. wrote:But still, using the same logic of time = money, then drivers must "earn" the country shed-loads of money compared to if we all cycled or took the train.


There's no value associated with saving time for commuters: the congestion figures are for people driving cars/vans/lorries for business.


There should be!

This morning myself and the two other cyclists where on time and the car drivers all late due to the "weather" and "traffic". There is therefore a cost - to my department the cost in lost time today was £140


Worst of the snow last year it took my colleagues (who live in the same town as me) over three times as long to get in - but a bit of rain?
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby Cunobelin » 9 Nov 2010, 10:31pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
Worst of the snow last year it took my colleagues (who live in the same town as me) over three times as long to get in - but a bit of rain?


Even funnier was our colleague with the 4x4 and snow....

We had people cycle in to work, one walked the mile to the station and caught a train, then walk a further mile to the Hospital. One more walked over 4 miles.

The girl with the 4x4 couldn't manage the 3/4 mile from her house to the hospital as the roads were too dangerous!

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 10 Nov 2010, 10:48am

Cunobelin wrote:
[XAP]Bob wrote:
Worst of the snow last year it took my colleagues (who live in the same town as me) over three times as long to get in - but a bit of rain?


Even funnier was our colleague with the 4x4 and snow....

We had people cycle in to work, one walked the mile to the station and caught a train, then walk a further mile to the Hospital. One more walked over 4 miles.

The girl with the 4x4 couldn't manage the 3/4 mile from her house to the hospital as the roads were too dangerous!


I hope she got docked her wages/holiday allowance - turning up a bit late is one thing, not turning up at all is ridiculous
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby snibgo » 10 Nov 2010, 1:14pm

We shouldn't expect a mere girl to know how to drive a 4x4 in conditions where the 4x4 characteristics are actually useful.

(Ducks from flying bricks etc.)

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Re: Is cycling being oversold as free?

Postby Jonty » 10 Nov 2010, 3:15pm

A few comments: 1) just because something is in the "public interest" doesn't mean that it should be subsidised by the taxpayer 2) cyclists use roads as well as cars and lorries and 3) estimates of "congestion costs" are often used by bodies such as the CBI to press for more expenditure on highways.
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