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Bicycle Methodology

  • THIS PAGE IS WORK IN PROGRESS*

In versions of the calculator before 3.5.0 the number of bicycles, and the cost of bicycles, looks implausible. This page documents the new approach:

Calibrating 2007

Data

The National Travel Survey 2012[1] reports:

  1. Table NTS0605 - The average distance traveled by bicycle per person in 2007 was 40 miles.
  2. Table NTS0608 - 42% of people aged 5+ owned a bicycle in 2011/12
  3. Table NTS0302 - 0.78% of non-air travel is by bicycle in 2012
  4. Table NTS0101 - 7103 miles travelled per person per year by all modes in 2007

COLBI - the European Bicycle Industry body - 2012 report on the European Bicycle Market [2] lists:

  1. Page 49 - 3771000 bicycles sold in GB in 2007, decreasing to 3600000 in 2012
  2. Page 50 - €725m value of bicycles sold in GB in 2007, increasing to €1098m in 2012.
  3. Page 21 - 2012 average bicycle price in GB €305, with NL highest at €724

The the british cycling economy report 2013[3] contains:

  1. 2010 3.6million bikes sold
  2. 2010 Bike sales of £1.6bn
  3. 2010 Accessory & service sales of £0.9m

Calculations

42% of people over 5 own a bicycle, and the over 5 population in the UK is 59 million, so in 2011/12 there were about 25 million bikes in the UK. This means ownership as a % of total population is about 42% * 95% = 40%.

The average distance per bicycle must be, approximately, the average distance per person divided by bicycle ownership: 40 miles per person / 42% bikes per person = 100 miles / bike = 153 km / bike.

If we assume no growth, so that bicycle sales replace broken bicycles, then 25 million bikes owned / 3.7 million bikes sold = average life of a bicycle of 7 years.

The average cost of a bike today is £250 (=€305). The operating cost is £30/yr (=£0.8m accessory and service sales / 26 million bicycles)

What changes to 2050 as mode share changes

For the moment, we will leave the share of trips by Bicycle unchanged:

Level % of total passenger-km, including aviation
2007 0.5%
2050 1 0.7%
2050 2 0.9%
2050 3 1.0%
2050 4 4.7%

Need to cross check whether this looks sensible against typical journey lengths and international comparisons.

Level 4: Lets assume that level 4 has 1 bicycle per person (roughly the case in the Netherlands)

In between, lets assume that bicycle ownership increases linearly with respect to increase in % of passenger km:

Level % passenger km by bike % bike ownership Person-km/yr Person-km by bike/yr Bike-km Bike-km / day
2007 0.5% 40% 14,104 72 179 0.491
2050-1 0.7% 43% 15,363 108 252 0.689
2050-2 0.9% 46% 15,023 135 296 0.812
2050-3 1.0% 47% 15,023 150 319 0.874
2050-4 4.7% 100% 14,076 662 662 1.811

Assume that the cost range in 2050 goes from a high equal to the Netherlands £600 (=€724). Point estimate and low estimates are the same as today. (Note - another option would be to make the low equal to £160 (€190 the average selling price in Ireland) however, we decided to keep the lower level of £100 to give a bigger difference between high and low).

In any given scenario, assume that the ownership starts increasing from 2010.

 
  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-travel-survey-statistics
  2. http://www.colibi.com/docs/issuu/European%20Bicycle%20Market%20&%20Industry%20Profile%20-%20Edition%202013.pdf
  3. http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/zuvvi/media/bc_files/corporate/The_British_Cycling_Economy_18Aug.pdf