Ride to Work Week – beat jams, save time, be happy... on two wheels

Two-wheel commuters are generally happier as they are not held up in traffic jams. Pictures: Motorcy

Two-wheel commuters are generally happier as they are not held up in traffic jams. Pictures: Motorcycle Industry Association - Credit: Motorcycle Industry Association

Commuters could avoid four working days a year in traffic jams if they switched to two wheels, according to the organiser of Ride to Work Week.

Commuters are being encouraged to swtich to two wheels during Ride to Work Week. Pictures: Motorcycl

Commuters are being encouraged to swtich to two wheels during Ride to Work Week. Pictures: Motorcycle Industry Association - Credit: Motorcycle Industry Association

Ride to Work Week, an annual campaign to share the advantages of commuting on two wheels, takes to the road on Monday – International Ride to Work Day.

The campaign, initiated by the Motorcycle Industry Association, is held to let people know how much better life would be if they commuted by motorcycle or scooter.

It says riding to work saves time and money, parking is easier, riders become better all-round road users and the best reason – it's just more fun.

There is also the added benefit that riders help reduce congestion for all road users!


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Ride to Work Week campaign manager Stevie Muir says: 'Around two-thirds of motorcyclists only opt for social and domestic cover and so are missing out on the huge benefits of commuting on their bikes. These include saving time, money and enjoying easier parking. Regular commuters are also likely to become more skilled road users and the best reason of all is that it's just more fun!'

The campaign slogan #commutehappy is backed up by fact. Motorcyclists are among the happiest commuters according to a one-off survey by the Office for National Statistics. It revealed that riding a motorcycle, moped or scooter had no negative impact on well-being on commutes up to 30 minutes and after that it was negligible. This was in contrast to those who walked, cycled, took the bus or drove, who all experienced a dip in well-being after just 15 minutes.

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If just 10% of motorists swapped their car for a motorcycle or scooter, there could be huge benefits for all road users. These include 20% more parking spaces, a 40% reduction in congestion for all road users and a reduction in the financial impact of congestion.

Wear and tear on roads would be less, rider safety would improve and importantly – 10% less car drivers would be miserable!

A Belgian study, which modelled the traffic for one of Europe's most congested roads, found that if 10% of motorists swapped their car for a motorcycle, scooter or moped, then congestion was reduced for all road users by 40%. When 25% of drivers swapped, congestion was eliminated altogether.

Three motorcycles or scooters can fit into the same space one car takes. This means if just 10% of car spaces were given over to riders, then 20% more people would be able to park. The National Travel Survey shows that 87% of car commuters drive to work alone, so there is huge capacity to increase the number of spaces available to people who swap to a motorcycle or scooter.

There are many calculations estimating the cost of congestion to the UK economy. The INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard recently calculated this to be around £30bn a year. This would naturally reduce if congestion was cut by 40%. Road maintenance would reduce too, as motorcycles and scooters are lighter than cars and vans, so impact less on road surfaces.

According to the most recent INRIX Scorecard, UK drivers spend an average of 32 hours a year in traffic jams.

Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, says a driver could gain the equivalent of an extra four days holiday a year, if they switched to a motorcycle or scooter.

'Motorcyclists and scooter riders don't waste 32 hours a year watching the bumper of the car in front, as they can filter. This means they tend to move through congested traffic at the same rate you would expect to move through free-flowing traffic

'Thirty-two hours is the equivalent of four working days, which equates to an extra four days holiday each year. No wonder riders are the happiest commuters!'

For more information visit www.ridetoworkweek.co.uk

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