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Discuss the reasons why many governments are promoting the use of bicycles instead of cars as a means of personal transport. Essay Example

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Reasons why many governments are promoting the use of bicycles instead of cars as means of personal transport

Promoting the use of bicycles


Many governments have been promoting the use of bicycles instead of using cars as transport means. They have been promoting the use of the bicycles due to the role that can be played by the use of bicycles in the process of eliminating the challenges that transport system has been facing due to traffic congestion. Bicycles as the alternative mode of transport have been viewed as the solution to the problems that most of the governments do face. The use of bicycles has been viewed as the cure to the increasing congestions in many roads in various parts of the world. The number of cars on our roads has been increasing in the level that cannot be accommodated in the available roads (Garvill, 2009). The expansion of the transport infrastructure has not been high resulting in traffic congestion due to the large number of cars. The rate of congestions has been increasing at a very high rate where different governments globally are spending millions of dollars in the process of addressing the increased congestion.

Reasons for promoting use of bicycles

Reduces air pollution

The use of bicycles has been associated with a reduction in air pollution as they are environmental friendly. There has been an increase in air pollution in many cities globally as the release of the toxic and greenhouse gasses has increased leading to climate change. Most of the toxic gasses released into the atmosphere have been coming from the use of cars as the number of cars has been increasing. As a result, many governments globally have been looking for ways of ensuring that the number of cars is reduced in the roads as efforts geared towards reducing the pollution that has been increasing in the recent years (Hunt and Abraham, 2007). The increase in the poisonous gasses in the atmosphere has increased the respiratory diseases that can include asthma and lung diseases making the governments try to encourage the use of bicycles. There is a connection between the increasing rate of respiratory diseases with the increasing traffic congestion has the rate of pollution has increased with the congestion. In a country like South Korea, the number of deaths associated with the respiratory diseases has doubled from the year 1992 to the year 2002 (Nordlund and Garvill, 2003).

The world health organization has estimated that more than 3 million people globally have been losing their lives annually due the respiratory diseases that are associated with air pollution. In some countries like South Korea asthma has become common where around 3.9 % of the population has been suffering from asthma where the number has been growing the with the increase in the rate of pollution (Ogilvie et al. 2004). The use of car has led to increased pollution where the number of greenhouse gasses has been increasing with the increase in some the cars on the roads. As a strategy, many governments have realized the need to encourage the use of bicycles as an effort of reducing pollution. Therefore, ensuring that the environment is cleaner through the use of bicycles can reduce the rate of respiratory diseases. Bicycles can be considered to be zero emission vehicles; hence it can be encouraged for the travelers moving in short distances. Using bicycle instead of cars helps in reducing air pollution by around 30% hence it can be an effective strategy for managing environmental pollution (Nordlund and Garvill, 2003).

Reducing traffic congestion

Many governments around the world have been working towards managing the increasing congestion in their cities. The major cities are becoming more congested due to the increasing number of cars leading to increased traffic congestion that has been associated with many costs both social and economic. In a country like Australia, the costs associated with the traffic congestion has increased to $20.4 billion from $5.4 billion in the year 2005 (Rietveld and Daniel, 2004). The increase can merely be associated with the increasing number of cars, and the situation is expected to be worse in the future, as the number of car owners has been increasing. Many governments spend much in expanding their road networks in the efforts of accommodating the increased number of cars in the roads. The effects of the increasing cars in the roads forcing governments to look for an alternative that can be of help in managing the problem of increased cars where the use of bicycles has proved to be alternative for the travelers in short distances.

Health savings

The use of bicycles has been considered as a cure to the most of the lifestyle diseases as many people lack exercise. Cycling can be an important way of managing obesity where people can be able to exercise their bodies leading to decrease in the rate of lifestyle diseases. The use of cars has been making people fail to exercise their bodies as they use their cars all the time, as most of them are busy to attend gyms. As a result, the use of bicycles can be an important way of ensuring that the health of individuals is improved through weight loss (Ogilvie, et al. 2004). Therefore, the use of bicycles can be crucial in promoting daily exercise that is necessary for improving fitness and health of people


Considering the numerous benefits that are associated with the use of bicycles, encouraging their use can be an important way of managing the problems that have been associated with increased number of cars. Considering the fact that bicycles do not rely on the use of fossil fuels, the environment can be safer through encouraging the use of bicycles as opposed to the cars. The use of bicycles can assist in reducing the gasses emitted by the vehicles due to the traffic congestion as they have been increasing in large numbers. The use of the bicycle in transport can be a strategy that can help in managing the increasing rate of pollution in different regions. Therefore, the government can ensure that the problem faced due to increasing traffic congestion brought by increased number of vehicles is solved through encouraging the use of bicycles as an alternative mode that can help in reducing traffic congestion.


Garvill, J., 2009. Choice of transportation mode: Factors influencing drivers’ willingness to reduce personal car use and support car regulations.Resolving social dilemmas: Dynamic, structural, and intergroup aspects, pp.263-279.

Hunt, J.D. and Abraham, J.E., 2007. Influences on bicycle use.Transportation34(4), pp.453-470.

Nordlund, A.M. and Garvill, J., 2003. Effects of values, problem awareness, and personal norm on willingness to reduce personal car use. Journal of environmental psychology23(4), pp.339-347.

Ogilvie, D., Egan, M., Hamilton, V. and Petticrew, M., 2004. Promoting walking and cycling as an alternative to using cars: systematic review. Bmj,329(7469), p.763.

Rietveld, P. and Daniel, V., 2004. Determinants of bicycle use: do municipal policies matter?. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice38(7), pp.531-550.