Economic Cost of Car Driving is 6 Times Higher than Cycling


That self-declared “Cycling City” of Copenhagen has had some research carried out in to the Cost Benefit Analysis of providing infrastructure for cars and bikes.

Because we have all grown used to our cars, and bike usage declined as we became more affluent – until the recent upswing in cycling – we tend to think of the cost of adding cycling infrastructure as entailing considerable costs. However, the vast majority of public spending on infrastructure is prioritised based on a Cost Benefit Analysis (or “CBA”). Yet, most cycling lanes have not been subject of CBA and are carried out to foster more sustainable transport systems.

It was interesting then that Copenhagen carried out a CBA comparison on cars and bikes, taking such factors as accidents, climate change, health and travel time into account. The conclusion was that both transport modes carried a cost to society, but cars came in at €0.50 per kilometre, compared with €0.08 per km for bikes – so cars are more than 6 times more expensive for society and government spending than cycling.

One further point made in the analysis was that the cost of car driving is estimated to increase in the future, but the cost of cycling is forecast to decrease.


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