Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Economic Benefits of Cycling Infrastructure at the Program Level

Lawrence, Craig and Davies, Robyn and Rogers, Adam and Vardon, Ben (2017): Economic Benefits of Cycling Infrastructure at the Program Level. Published in: AITMP 2017 National Conference (2017)

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More cycling tackles morbidity, obesity and mental health issues and that means a reduced burden on the public health system. The benefits compound as cycling networks are completed, made denser, or separated from traffic. We’ve known about the health benefits of cycling for a long time, but have you ever wondered whether the benefits actually outweigh the capital cost of the infrastructure required to support this activity? Recent research has quantified a range of benefits of cycling and walking which are now encapsulated in the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) Guidelines for Active Transport. The economic benefits of this type of investment are real, quantifiable and measurable. When the benefits are monetised, and the number of users are taken into account (sometimes through population forecasting) the benefit cost ratios can be greater than 4. In western countries with aging populations, that’s of profound interest to policymakers at all levels of government, and should require that the planning and design of this type of infrastructure remains a priority. This paper details a methodology for determining the economic return on cycling networks based on population data, user profiles and separated/unseparated paths, developed as part of a business case for the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads’ Cycling Infrastructure Program.

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