Is cycling Vs commuting by car better for the environment?

14
Found 16th May
Have been commuting by bike for the last several years and also thought I was doing my bit by reducing my carbon footprint, but have now started to wonder is just as much fuel still being consumed by other road users if not more as they slow down to pass, many of the vehicles being lorry's and buses, my thought being they sometimes have to slow down to around 15mph dropping them into 2nd\3rd gear and then stuck behind me for a good 30 seconds, then accelerating briskly to get around me. I would estimate around 300 cars pass me on my rush hour commute, if you add up the extra fuel consumed by these 300 vehicles driving in lower gear and then accelerating sharply to get past it could be a lot more fuel burnt than if I used my own car, just a thought really.
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A lot of people who complain about carbon footprints are also frequent flyers, have halogen and mercury bulbs.

I wouldn't worry too much about your commute. Cycling is only really to keep your fitness up and save you a few pounds.
Well, by reducing your Bike youve reduced the Carbon Footprint so well done if that was your intentions, but using your Car again means your going to increase it again.
Would love to say well done but Google this (and tell me if the car wins)

cyclist lung damage from traffic
Edited by: "ccnp" 16th May
kester761 h, 12 m ago

A lot of people who complain about carbon footprints are also frequent …A lot of people who complain about carbon footprints are also frequent flyers, have halogen and mercury bulbs.I wouldn't worry too much about your commute. Cycling is only really to keep your fitness up and save you a few pounds.


Or drive a mile down the road to pick kids up in a 4x4
kester761 h, 20 m ago

A lot of people who complain about carbon footprints are also frequent …A lot of people who complain about carbon footprints are also frequent flyers, have halogen and mercury bulbs.I wouldn't worry too much about your commute. Cycling is only really to keep your fitness up and save you a few pounds.


The only people I know who complain about green issues and carbon footprints are parents.
It's a problem that sorts itself out as more people cycle though. The more bikes there are, the more cycle lanes are put in. And even on small urban roads without cycle lanes the car traffic will spend more time at cycling speeds and less time accelerating and braking.
EndlessWaves41 m ago

It's a problem that sorts itself out as more people cycle though. The more …It's a problem that sorts itself out as more people cycle though. The more bikes there are, the more cycle lanes are put in. And even on small urban roads without cycle lanes the car traffic will spend more time at cycling speeds and less time accelerating and braking.



More people will only take up cycling if workplaces think more about how people travel to them. It seems even today places are built without spaces to lock up bikes, lockers to store cycling gear and showers for just in case.

Off the top of my head I can think of the following reasons that cycling is better for everyone but it seems others are slow to agree:

More cyclists means fewer cars which in turn means less traffic.
More cyclists mean a fitter workforce. Good for people personally, good for businesses from a sick leave perspective and good for the NHS.
Lower pollution in all forms. Air would be cleaner, the environment less noisy and cycle parking takes far less space than car parking so less of an eyesore issue.
DKLS1 h, 54 m ago

The only people I know who complain about green issues and carbon …The only people I know who complain about green issues and carbon footprints are parents.



Yours or parents in general ? Mine seem alright about it, it's mostly recycling and trying not to be wasteful. I used to cycle but it's pretty grim and 7 mins in a car is better than 15-20mins on bike down rural roads with large arctics.
omgpleasespamme1 h, 15 m ago

More people will only take up cycling if workplaces think more about how …More people will only take up cycling if workplaces think more about how people travel to them. It seems even today places are built without spaces to lock up bikes, lockers to store cycling gear and showers for just in case.Off the top of my head I can think of the following reasons that cycling is better for everyone but it seems others are slow to agree:More cyclists means fewer cars which in turn means less traffic.More cyclists mean a fitter workforce. Good for people personally, good for businesses from a sick leave perspective and good for the NHS.Lower pollution in all forms. Air would be cleaner, the environment less noisy and cycle parking takes far less space than car parking so less of an eyesore issue.


Talked about the pros, here’s some potential cons:

Tired due to lots of exercise so less energetic/more lethargic (depends largely on age/fitness/lifestyle/distance)
Uses hot water to shower when getting to work (increasing emissions from heating water, fine if using solar to heat)
Increased risk of muscular or skeletal injury due to exercise/RSI
Increased risk of injury in an accident (little protection unlike a car)
More likely to take a day off when unwell due to having to cycle to work (than jump in a car for a few mins where it’s warm in winter)
Needs more space in office (lockers to keep clothes/helmet etc)
Less likely to be flexible about leave times (especially in winter/cold/dark/rain)
cmdr_elito1 h, 41 m ago

Talked about the pros, here’s some potential cons:Tired due to lots of e …Talked about the pros, here’s some potential cons:Tired due to lots of exercise so less energetic/more lethargic (depends largely on age/fitness/lifestyle/distance)Uses hot water to shower when getting to work (increasing emissions from heating water, fine if using solar to heat)Increased risk of muscular or skeletal injury due to exercise/RSIIncreased risk of injury in an accident (little protection unlike a car) More likely to take a day off when unwell due to having to cycle to work (than jump in a car for a few mins where it’s warm in winter)Needs more space in office (lockers to keep clothes/helmet etc)Less likely to be flexible about leave times (especially in winter/cold/dark/rain)



Thanks for taking the time to post this. As you say some of the downsides are conditional on factors such as distance and lifestyle. I've no medical training but considering the government recommends exercising each day it must have some health benefits. The second point about sick days seems to point towards a pro-presentism attitude which goes some way to explain how we apparently work really long hours and achieve very little. If an organisation doesn't have the people and protocols in place to deal correctly with colleagues not performing well enough it's not the fault of the person pulling a sickie. Sometimes it's required if not for physical health but for mental. However hopefully fitter and more active people will be healthier and happier. When it comes to space your comment seems more than a little specious. The space one car takes in the company car park would be ample space for 10 bikes. A second car space would then provide ample space for lockers. I'm sure there are industry standard measurements to back this assertion but I don't know them and I don't have the time to go looking. Now I'm not denying current workplaces may find it hard to accommodate but it would be nice to see more accommodation being made when renovation work is done or in new builds.

Thanks again for the ideas though. It's always good to get an idea of how other people perceive things.
omgpleasespamme2 h, 19 m ago

Thanks for taking the time to post this. As you say some of the downsides …Thanks for taking the time to post this. As you say some of the downsides are conditional on factors such as distance and lifestyle. I've no medical training but considering the government recommends exercising each day it must have some health benefits. The second point about sick days seems to point towards a pro-presentism attitude which goes some way to explain how we apparently work really long hours and achieve very little. If an organisation doesn't have the people and protocols in place to deal correctly with colleagues not performing well enough it's not the fault of the person pulling a sickie. Sometimes it's required if not for physical health but for mental. However hopefully fitter and more active people will be healthier and happier. When it comes to space your comment seems more than a little specious. The space one car takes in the company car park would be ample space for 10 bikes. A second car space would then provide ample space for lockers. I'm sure there are industry standard measurements to back this assertion but I don't know them and I don't have the time to go looking. Now I'm not denying current workplaces may find it hard to accommodate but it would be nice to see more accommodation being made when renovation work is done or in new builds.Thanks again for the ideas though. It's always good to get an idea of how other people perceive things.


The government recommend exercise yes I don’t disagree with this but not everyone should be cycling, it may be that walking is more appropriate for example someone with knee problems may be unable to cycle but may be ok to walk (just an example hence the comment around age/fitness/lifestyle/distance).

I know some people at work bike in from 20 miles away but generally are pretty tired (as that’s a 40 mile trip) they are often tired and more prone to being off sick when Ill with a simple cold as they don’t want to do the like ride. I know myself I have 100 mile commute and no reasonable access to public transport (unlike where I used to live and cycle 10 miles a day to work) so would be knackered if I cycled that not to mention it would take probably 3 or more hours each way due to hilly landscapes.

In terms of space the issue is that there is space required in the building to house showers and lockers, the company may not have the capital or be able to get permissions for extensions. They would also need to increase hours or hire extra staff to clean the showers too.

That said my work does have showers, lots of bike parking and some minimal amounts of lockers for the cyclists. It has around 4.5k of staff plus around double that in temp staff.
No cycling is worse. It stops cars passing by on tight roads so the cars are on the road longer pumping out their fumes.

Cycling is better for the rider though.
cmdr_elito17th May

In terms of space the issue is that there is space required in the …In terms of space the issue is that there is space required in the building to house showers and lockers, the company may not have the capital or be able to get permissions for extensions. They would also need to increase hours or hire extra staff to clean the showers too.


It always costs more in the short term to change things than to keep them the same. If that was a good argument very few things would get improved.

In the long run the company will need less land, not more, and will have less capital tied up there.
EndlessWaves3 h, 3 m ago

It always costs more in the short term to change things than to keep them …It always costs more in the short term to change things than to keep them the same. If that was a good argument very few things would get improved. In the long run the company will need less land, not more, and will have less capital tied up there.


I don’t disagree but was pointing out the challenge, many companies operate within an inch of being on the brink so wouldn’t be able to do what you propose.
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