Commuter City Challenges
Ride to Work Day, an international event, sees thousands of riders around the world come together to show just how enjoyable their daily commute is. As part of this event and Ride to Work Week, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) organised a series of Commuter City Challenges in six cities around the UK (Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Leeds/Bradford, Leicester and Manchester) to put to the test the claim that motorcycles are better. And guess what? the motorcycles won. Every time.
With the 2014 TomTom Traffic Index confirming that traffic congestion in cities across the UK significantly worsened in 2013, with average journeys taking 27 per cent longer than they would in free-flowing traffic, there’s never been a more appropriate time to switch to two wheels. The time lost as a result of congestion is estimated to cost the UK economy £2 billion a year, and that figure is set to rise as the Government has forecast four million more drivers on UK roads by 2030.
In light of this ever worsening situation and to mark Ride to Work Day, the MCI instigated these commuting experiments to see how well powered two wheelers (PTW) hold up against other modes of transport. City commuter challenges comprising of a motorcyclist, a car driver, a public transport user, and also a cyclist in the cases of Leeds and Brighton, were carried out in six of the top congested cities in the UK as identified in the recent TomTom report. The routes were chosen to represent genuine commuter routes which would be used during the peak morning rush hour period.
In three of the six challenges, the car took the longest time to reach the destination, frequently being held up in traffic or if not that then finding it difficult to park. Or both! Public transport was the other mode of travel which also saw its users arrive last. The cyclists, when included, came in second in both cases, but it should be noted that both the riders were avid cyclists who each cover over 10,000 miles a year on their bikes. Taking into account your average cyclist won’t be prepared to cycle as far or as quickly then bicycle times would be far worse. The real success, as we all knew it would be, was the motorcycle which came in first across all six challenges – by as much as 2.4 times faster than a car and 2.5 times quicker than public transport.
MCI CEO Steve Kenward said, “We held the City Challenges in order to give us proof of what motorcyclists already know, commuting by motorcycle is the quickest, easiest, and most enjoyable way to travel to work, particularly in highly congested cities. We hope that these statistics will encourage more people to contemplate their commute and give serious consideration to travelling by motorcycle or scooter.”
Getting your licence to ride couldn’t be simpler – a 125cc bike, perfect for commuting, can be ridden on L plates after completing a 1 day basic training course (CBT) and bikes can be purchased for as little as £50 a month. With fuel economy into the hundreds you’ll be saving not only hours but pounds too. If you wanted to ride a bigger bike check out our guide to licences here and start your journey.