Inspiration to ditch the car and get out and about
Why change gear?
The benefits of walking & cycling
There's never been a better time to change your travelling habits. By choosing to swap more car journeys for walking, cycling or public transport, you, your family, your community and your planet will feel the benefits from day one.
Environmental benefits of walking and cycling
Using peddle and people power to get around is one of the simplest things we can all do to help the environment.
Vehicle ownership in Northumberland has increased by 12% since 2010 and road transport accounts for 33% of the region's total Co2 emissions. The more people walk, cycle or use public transport instead of taking the car, the more Northumberland will benefit from a cleaner environment with less pollution, congestion and traffic noise. It's a carbon busting habit we can all form to do our bit to help tackle climate change and make our county an even better place to live.
Cycling 6 miles each way to work would save you 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year
The number of miles driven by vehicles on Northumberland roads has increased by 31% since 2010 and 40% since 2000
The Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, committing to 'net zero' emissions by 2030 which means cutting 709.1 kt CO2 per year (that's 39% of our current emissions)
Every mile travelled by bike rather than by car keeps one pound of climate-damaging carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere
Physical health benefits of walking and cycling
Moving more and sitting in a car seat less is good for you - fact!
Did you know that over 40% of women and 33% of men in England are not active enough for good health? Regular walking and cycling are the perfect way to fit exercise into our daily routines and can help close this gap with huge benefits to long-term physical health including improved metabolic health and better life expectancy.
Increased physical activity could potentially save the NHS £17 billion within 20 years by reducing rates of type-2 diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer. It is also estimated that between 2017 and 2035 there will be around 2.5 million air pollution related cases of disease - but it doesn't have to be this way - by cutting our carbon emissions we can also cut these rates.
A brisk 10 mins walk racks up an impressive 2000 steps and burns off 100 calories (50 by bike)
One EXTRA mile per day (roughly 20 mins); means over the course of a year you’d walk off an extra 36,500 calories
Physical inactivity causes 1 in 6 UK deaths - walking and cycling can reduce your risk of many diseases including heart and respiratory, some cancers and Type II diabetes
Studies have shown that regular cyclists enjoy the general health of someone approximately 10 years younger
Mental health benefits of walking and cycling
Getting out and about more is good for our mood and can put a smile on our face.
Many studies have shown that doing physical activity including walking and cycling can improve mental health leading to better sleep, happier moods, reduced stress and anxiety, better self-esteem, and reduced risk of depression.
In terms of wider connections within the community, rewind the clock a few decades and there were far fewer cars on the roads and far more opportunities to interact with each other as we went about our daily business. Walking to the local shops rather than driving out to out of town retail parks, means we can nurture the places we live and our relationships with other leading to better social connections and happier communities.
Getting exercise by biking or walking can help to increase blood flow, release endorphins, and reduce overall stress
Getting active can make you feel more positive and better about yourself, especially as you improve and meet your goals
Getting some fresh air when out for a walk or bike ride leaves you feeling energised, positive and ready to take on whatever life throws at you
Financial benefits of walking and cycling
Cars and fuel costs money – feet are free!
By looking for ways to reduce commutes and swap motoring miles for good old fashioned walking and cycling, the savings in fuel, running costs and parking soon add up. Even small changes repeated every week add up to big savings across the course of a year.
Why not look for opportunities to reducing your motoring miles in 2021 by setting a financial savings goal and treat yourself once you've given the petrol pump less of your hard earned cash.
Looking for alternatives to taking the car into towns and cities adds up to big savings on parking fees
Swapping just 10 miles of driving for walking or cycling per week adds up to an average saving of £213 in car running costs per year
For the price of a single car finance payment, you can buy a well-made bicycle that should outlast most cars