Cycling cost saving is equivalent of an 8 per cent pay rise

Cycling rather than driving would save Scots up to £2,000 a year on shorter journeys, cycle developers Sustrans Scotland said today in the first research of its kind.

Rachel Ducker cycles to work in Edinburgh, even though there is parking available for her car. Picture: Sustrans Scotland

It showed that lower running costs mean cyclists are quids in compared to motorists on journeys up to five miles - not to mention the health benefits.

That's the equivalent of a pay rise of more than 8 per cent pay for those on average salaries, the group said.

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Cyclists save £1,959 a year over that distance, and £2,013 on trips up to ten miles.

Billy Rosendale chose bike and train over car for his commute between Doune and Edinburgh. Picture: Sustrans Scotland

The saving for those joining them would be £1,874, after the cost of buying a bike.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “By choosing to leave the car at home for short trips, people can make significant financial savings.

"This research highlights the importance of people in Scotland making smarter travel choices for more of their everyday journeys.

“The Scottish Government will continue to invest in infrastructure and behaviour change programmes to ensure people have the widest choice possible for their journeys and encourage more cycling and walking for shorter everyday trips.”

Billy Rosendale chose bike and train over car for his commute between Doune and Edinburgh. Picture: Sustrans Scotland

John Lauder, national director of Sustrans Scotland said: “What makes this study so special is that the savings don’t rely on people giving up their car for good, a decision which simply isn’t realistic for many households.

“Not only is cycling good for your physical and mental health, but it also helps people save money for journeys which typically take no more than 30 minutes by bike.

“We hope our findings will encourage Scots to think twice before taking their car out for short trips if they don’t have to.”

Among those benefiting is Rachel Ducker, who works at the University of Edinburgh.

Ms Ducker, 29, started to cycle to work when she moved from London two years ago.

That was despite working at several university sites across the city, where she could park her car.

She said: “I like the fact I don’t have to rely on public transport or worry about getting stuck in traffic.

"As my job is desk-based, I know that by cycling to and from the office every day I will get a little bit of exercise.

“I also think cycling is a far quicker way of getting around than by car.

"I don’t have to worry about paying for parking and I know I’m saving money that would otherwise be spent on petrol or bus tickets.

“Cycling for short journeys has now become an everyday habit."

Ms Ducker said she and her husband were thinking of moving house, and a major factor in choosing where to live would be whether they are able to commute by bike.

A fellow university worker decided to commute by train and cycle rather than buy a car when he moved from Edinburgh to Doune, near Stirling, in February to be closer to his family.

Web developer Billy Rosendale said: "I knew there would be environmental and physical benefits to cycling and taking the train.

"However, I wanted to weigh that up against the cost to my personal time and my wallet."

Mr Rosendale, 41, opted for train and bike, cycling both to and from the station at either end.

He calculated he saved some £450 in March alone over commuting by car.

He said: "Compared to the cost of running a car and fuel costs, it was a total no brainer.

"My journey to work is now an hour longer than it used to be, but as the cycling sections are much shorter, even though the total commute is longer, it’s a less arduous trip.”

“Having a bike fits perfectly with all aspects of my life be it shopping or activities with family or friends. I’d like to think that now I have made the switch I won’t go back to owning a car.”