Bicycle highways profitable
The proceeds that can be attributed to bicycle highways considerably outweigh the costs. The next couple of years approximately €100 million will be invested in bicycle highways in the Netherlands. That will lead to future annual profits of at least €144 million in travel time gained, better health and environmental benefits.
Goudappel Coffeng consultants has calculated this by means of a traffic model. It employed two different scenarios: one involving the construction of 675 km of bicycle highways and another one with the additional assumption that by 2020 half of all cyclists will employ an electric bicycle.
The number of car journeys will fall by 0.7% in the first scenario and if the electric bicycle continues its advance, by 1.6%. The number of journeys by public transport falls more: by 0.9% and 2.7% respectively. The number of bicycle journeys increases by 1.3 and 3.3% respectively.
Goudappel also studied the mobility effects for the region Rotterdam/Den Haag in particular. There car use decreases by 1.4 and 2.3% respectively and public transport by 2.3 and 3.9% respectively. The number of bicycle journeys increases there by 2.2 and 3.8% respectively.
For the entire country, improved bicycle provisions will cause travel times by car to fall by 3.8 million hours, as a result of less congestion, and 9.4 million hours due to increased use of electric bikes respectively. Assuming a value of € 10 for an hour’s travel by car, this will yield approximately € 40 million a year in the case with only bicycle highways, growing to €100 million with bicycle highways in combination with an increased use of electric bicycles. Health effects will contribute another €250 million to the ‘electric scenario’ according to the model calculation, as well as €8 million thanks to the CO2 reduction. Overall this leads to a profit of €358 million. For the scenario without electric bicycles Goudappel calculates proceeds of €144 million annually.