It really amazes me that it takes the government so long to catch on to the fact that cycling can help the UK/world on so many levels for example:
Health: By encouraging people to cycle peoples health improve on a mass level reducing the need to burden the NHS with some of the major costs associated with inactivity caused by desk jobs and driving cars for hours a day. Yes, it could save the government Billions over a decade. The proof is in the Netherlands and recommended by the World Health Organisation
Financial: Cycling is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK with the electric bike market surging in mass sales all over Europe but still just a fraction in the UK. A national campaign would add billions to the coffers in tax revenue so much so that there would be serious benefits in offsetting some of the saving from healthcare as to provide a lower level of VAT which will encourage cycling as well as still generating huge tax revenues by influencing a cycling program as a national message to promote health and well being. Supporting an industry that supports people.
Building cycling paths is a fraction of the cost of new roads, All new roads should have a cycling path built at the same time with all future road development made to provide cycle ways that help reduce the burden on the motorist by getting them out of the way enabling both transport users to go as fast as they need to go without hindering one another. Even motorway could have cycle lanes built onto the side verge which is often waste unusable land. Imagine an Electric Bike Sport category bike with a huge battery doing 30mph between cities.
Safety: The more people that people cycle the safer and more accepted it becomes. There is a tipping point whereby motorist are constantly more aware of cyclist on the road which in turn will reduce motor vehicle accidents as well as cycling incidents.
Congestion: Less cars per journey will create a more efficient road and transport network which mean that people spend less time in traffic and more time working which is productive for the nation and again will increase the revenues of the nation.
Well Being: Lastly but certainly not least the well being of the nation will improve individually for everyone that cycles, currently the UK is one of the least happiest nation in Europe. Not only are there physical aspect to cycling that contribute to ones own well being but also the mental attributes associated with the feeling of freedom and a focus of the mind body and soul all working in harmony to produce a zen like feeling that is obtained only currently by the more daring and physically active individuals that rock climb, hand glide or follow similar pursuit that engage the whole well being of a person.
The only skeptical pessimistic reason I can think of that the Government does not promote cycling is the short sightedness that the government receives a massive tax revenue from motoring through vehicle purchase, fuel, road tax and insurance.
For the government to promote cycling they must first consider if the points above can now begin to match the single benefits of taxing the motorist to death and to try and look at the benefits of the nation by not only reducing the deficit but also increasing the well being of its citizens.
After all it is not all about the money but the ability to have a better standard of living for less. Cycling and electric cycling can provide this unequivocally