Cycle Routes to Prosperity – Segregated Cycle Infrastructure and Property Value in London

Whilst the private sector is often the driving force behind public transport and public realm investments such as Crossrail, the Northern Line extension and Granary Square, cycle infrastructure is still treated with scepticism by developers, who try to avoid building it, as they do not see any added value. Public support for cycling has also been mixed, with vociferous supporters and opponents.

The public sector itself has struggled to build solid business cases for segregated cycle tracks as there are no revenue streams and the air quality and health benefits are difficult to monetise in comparison to potential impacts on congestion. As a result, cycle infrastructure is not considered on a par with other transport infrastructure.

An investigation was undertaken into the impact of cycle investment on property value in London, comparing the value of properties within 100m of a segregated cycle lane with those further afield in the same local authority.

The data indicates that the duelling of Royal College Street in 2013 resulted in a 45% increase in value for the 90 properties within 100m of the new cycle lane, generating an additional £7.7m value in sales in comparison to other properties in Camden, which only increased by 23%.

Similarly, the data indicates that property value along Cycle Superhighway 2 in Newham has been increasing at almost twice the rate of other properties in the Borough since the construction of the segregated cycle lane in late 2013.

Following the construction of the Torrington Tavistock segregated cycle route, properties within 100m of the route increased value by 50%, whilst the average increase across Camden was only 10%.

The methodology used assumes variables such as proximity to tube stations, floor area and property type averages across the large dataset, but the data does appear to indicate that the construction of segregated cycle infrastructure does lead to an increase in property value.

This relationship could be used by public bodies to construct a business case for cycling to obtain support from non-cycling residents. The private sector could find itself lobbying for or funding segregated cycle lanes to increase land value in poorly connected areas or justify building to a higher density in low Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) areas, as residents will be cycling rather than taking public transport.