Cycling is a low-cost, reliable and highly-efficient mode of transport suitable for many journeys. Most people can travel 5 miles in 30 minutes by bike at a comfortable pace and usually arrive happier than they started. You don’t get stuck in traffic jams and you can carry quite a bit on a practically-equipped city bike without breaking a sweat. There are also all sorts of cycling options for people who can’t ride typical bikes, such as tricycles, handcycles and recumbent cycles.
Walking is also a great option for even shorter journeys. Walking is good for your mental and physical health, plus it is the cheapest way to get around. There is no need to search or park for a parking space if you use your feet.
Public transport can also save you the hassle to find and pay for a parking place. You can use your time to read or other things. All whilst knowing that buses and trains are far more efficient when it comes to fuel and thus reduce our carbon footprints.
Walking and Cycling
Walking and cycling are a great way to get around Cambridge for shorter journeys. Many people think they will be quicker by car, but actually as soon as you take congestion and parking into account it might actually be quicker to cycle or even walk, and take advantage of some car-free shortcuts. Even luggage, shopping or kids don’t have to stop you from ditching the car. Cargo bikes are deigned to help you move heavy goods and even other people around. Electric bikes are a great way to stretch the distance and reduce the time of your journey.
There’s nothing wrong with cycling in the rain or even snow. Get a rain mac, waterproof trousers and a hat with a brim, and take more care with braking and turning.
Check out the Camcycle website for more tips and ideas.
Your first choice should be riding the bikes you already have at home. If you need help to repair or maintain your bike, turn to one of the many repair shops in the city. Alternatively get a second hand bike from a local charity shop like OWL Bikes for the extra savings in energy and cost while supporting a good cause.
When buying a new bike, check your size with the shopkeeper – if the bike is too small then you won’t be able to pedal it efficiently. Look for a practical bike with mudguards, chainguard, a rack and a basket – although these can be added ‘aftermarket’ too. You’ll need front and rear lights to ride at night. Be sure to get a good D-lock if you want to deter thieves, rated 2 / 5 by ART at least (but 3 is better), it’ll probably cost at least £50 but save you money in the long run.
There are currently two schemes that help employees finance new bikes:
Many people are turning to e-bikes to help them on longer journeys or to get around quicker. For many people, an e-bike can replace a car, so even though they are not cheap, they are very cheap in comparison! They’re also vastly more efficient than electric cars and can generally travel 30-60 miles on 5p worth of electricity! Manufacturing an e-bike is much, much lighter on the environment than an electric car. But you should spend even more on your locks to keep your bike save.
Family bikes can also come with an e-assist to help with the extra weight. They vary in shapes and sizes, so that every family can find the right model for their needs. Check out the School Run Centre or Outspoken for more advice, or turn to the vast secondhand market for (family) bikes in Cambridge.
Businesses such as Zedify have also shown that it is possible to do your deliveries by (electric / cargo) bike. Local retailers such as Outspoken will be able to help you find the right solution for your needs.
Cambridge has a good connection to other towns and cities by public transport such as buses and trains. Especially if you’re travelling into or through the city centre buses will be better option to avoid congestion and parking charges.
You can find most information about buses on the Cambridgeshire County Council website. Here you will find links to current bus timetables, information about bus tickets as well as application forms for free bus passes. Traveline is an online platform to plan your bus journeys.
Community transport schemes
Community transport provides journeys for people who have difficulty using conventional public transport. For example those who do not have access to public transport and do not have access to their own car, or those who experience difficulty using public transport i.e. because of a disability or age.