Travelling by car six times more expensive than cycling

London: Replacing your car with a bicycle could save you a fortune as researchers have calculated that it is six times more expensive for society – and for you individually – if you travel by car instead of cycling.

This has been shown in a study of Denmark’s Copenhagen, a city of cyclists. It is the first time a price has been put on car use as compared to cycling, the researchers noted.

“The cost-benefit analysis in Copenhagen shows that investments in cycling infrastructure and bike-friendly policies are economically sustainable and give high returns,” said Stefan Gossling from Lund University in Sweden.

The researchers investigated a cost-benefit analysis that the Copenhagen Municipality uses to determine whether new cycling infrastructure should be built.

It considers how much cars cost society and how they compare to bicycles in terms of air pollution, climate change, travel route, noise, road wear, health and congestion in Copenhagen.

The study concluded that cars have a greater negative impact on the economy than bicycles.

If the costs to society and the costs to private individuals are added together, the impact of the car is EUR 0.50 per (Rs.37) kilometre and the impact of the bicycle is EUR 0.08 (Rs.6) per kilometre, the researchers noted.

The study also showed that if we only look at costs/benefits for society, one kilometre by car costs EUR 0.15 (Rs.11), whereas society earns EUR 0.16 (Rs.12) on every kilometre cycled.

The study appeared in the journal Ecological Economics.