Here's what would happen if 10% of drivers switched to motorcycles

Ride to work on a motorcycle and everyone wins

Ride to work week

YOU MAY or may not know that today is the second day of Ride To Work Week – where the bike industry makes a racket about how good it is to commute on a motorcycle or scooter.

It really is something to make a noise about.

If like us, you regularly commute by bike you’ll know that it’s often cheaper than public transport, quicker than a car, stress-free and more convenient. It’s the difference between getting to work happy and getting to work stressed and covered in someone’s armpit sweat after an hour on a packed commuter train you paid over the odds to squeeze on to.

Now the Motorcycle Industry Association has released some figures highlighting the benefits for everyone if just 10% of car drivers made the switch to two wheels – including a 20% increase in parking spaces, a 40% reduction in road congestion and financial savings from less cars on the road.

The figures come from a Belgian study, which modelled traffic for one of Europe’s congested roads and found that if 10% of car drivers swapped four wheels for two, congestion for all road users went down by 40%. If 25% of drivers did the same thing, congestion was completely eliminated.

The small amount of space taken up by motorcycles means that three bikes can fit in to one car parking space, so if 10% of car parking spaces were given over to bikes, there would be a 20% increase in bike parking.

More two-wheeled commuters also benefit the wider economy. The INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard recently calculated the cost of congestion to the economy to be around £30 billion a year – a figure that would reduce if more people made the switch to two wheels.

Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, which organises Ride to Work Week, says a driver could gain up to the equivalent of an extra four days holiday a year, if they switched to a motorcycle or scooter:

'Motorcyclists and scooter riders don't waste 32 hours a year watching the bumper of the car in front, as they can filter.  This means they tend to move through congested traffic at the same rate you would expect to move through free-flowing traffic.

'32 hours is the equivalent of four working days, which equates to an extra four days holiday each year.  no wonder riders are the happiest commuters!'

Don’t ride a motorcycle but want to give it a try? Have a crack at riding a bike or scooter for free with a qualified instructor at a Get On event – you’ll have loads of fun and it could change your life.