Smarter choices

Briefing
Cycling is a 'smarter choice'

Smarter choices

Headline Message 
  • Encouraging and incentivising people to try out alternatives to the private car are valuable and cost-effective complements to improving cycling conditions on the road.  
  • Often known as ‘smarter choices’, measures that are designed to do this include: elements of travel plans; advertising / promotional campaigns, cycle maps, marketing directly to individuals, tax incentives, cycle training, rides, plus events and activities for specific groups of people.
Policy Key Facts 
  • Smarter choices (or 'soft measures') are particularly cost-effective in terms of congestion, yielding on average £10 of benefits to every £1 spent.
  • Smarter choice programmes in the Sustainable Travel Towns of Darlington, Peterborough and Worcester made a positive contribution towards economic growth, reducing carbon emissions, increasing health, promoting equality of opportunity, and improving quality of life.
Cycling UK View 
  • Smarter choice measures are:
    • a proven way of reducing car use and carbon emissions
    • an effective means of encouraging people to take up cycling, or to cycle more often
    • a good investment, offering an excellent return 
  • Investing in ‘smarter choices’ is at least as important as investing in physical improvements to the highway network. 
  • Both national and local authorities should dedicate sufficient resources to smarter choices, recognising that they rely on revenue rather than capital funding.
Download the full detailed campaign briefing 
'Smarter choices' are effective techniques that influence people's travel habits in favour of sustainable transport. A good example of this is offering them the chance to try out cycling instead of driving.