The benefits of increasing rates of cycling and walking are substantial. For people, it means cheaper travel and better health. For businesses, it means increased productivity (with, for example, regular cyclists taking one less sick day per year than non-cyclists) and increased footfall. And for society as a whole it means lower congestion, better air quality, and more vibrant, attractive places and communities.
Cycling’s contribution to the UK economy is around £3 billion. Existing measures to increase cycling and walking include:
- cycle training
- cycle hire schemes
- cycle parking
- cycle sharing
- safety innovations
- journey planning tools
- initiatives that encourage people to cycle or walk to work/school
- electric bikes
- various Walking Cities programmes
The DfT is keen to receive proposals that target the key barriers to cycling and walking. Innovations may include, for example, technology, infrastructure, manufacturing or behavioural change interventions. Proposals may be for radical innovation (for example, connected transport) as well as incremental innovation.
Applicants will maintain intellectual property rights for the results of the project and can exploit this commercially after the project is completed.