An army of commuters who have rejected cars and public transport in favour of bicycles is saving more than 130,000 tons of CO2 emissions every year, says a new study.
Since it launched in 1999, 400,000 people have taken up the government's cycle to-work scheme, which allows workers to buy bicycles through their employer as a tax-exempt benefit.
It is not just the environment that is benefiting. The study, by the Cycle to Work Alliance, surveyed more than 44,000 Britons: 87 per cent reported health improvements since taking up the scheme. Most are converts to cycling.
The Government is keen to promote the scheme: a 20 per cent increase in cycling in Britain in 2012 would result in estimated savings of £500m by 2015 – from reduced costs of congestion, pollution and healthcare.