Cycling has nothing to do with non-cyclists, so why should they care about cycling issues such as traffic law and cycling infrastructure? This statement might make sense to someone who doesn’t cycle and cannot see themselves ever wanting to cycle, but it is flawed. Cycling has obvious individual benefits which have been discussed here and elsewhere. What is often overlooked are the societal benefits which result from people making the decision to cycle, rather than using buses, trains, taxis, helicopters or cars.
The estimated annual economic benefits of cycling are approximately £540-640 (at the conservative end of the scale) per cyclist. Most of this is due to the health benefits. Whilst my health doesn’t directly benefit someone sat on a bus, it does mean that less of the tax fund is likely to be spent on maintaining me through my eventual demise. This frees up more funds for better treatment of other people, or at least the same level of treatment paid for with slightly lower taxes.
The greatest increases in cycling are apparently encouraged by urban off-road projects. The Fallowfield Loop comes to mind, but I bet a similar route from Parrs Wood to the city centre (or anywhere suburban to the city centre) would be even better, by virtue of going somewhere which is useful to a larger number of people rather than just being near to the homes of a large number of people.
Additionally, non-cyclists benefit from the environmental credentials of cycling. Locally, people benefit from reduced particulate emissions such as those from diesel cars, buses and to a lesser extent petrol cars. Internationally, people benefit from the reduced emissions of greenhouse gases which all forms of car and public transport produce, although in differing per-passenger volumes.
Road-users such as bus passengers and motorists benefit from the reduced congestion cycling produces. Whilst some cyclists would be on public transport if it was not for their bicycles, with car travel currently enjoying a modal share in the 85% region, its fair to assume that most bikes really are “One Less Car,” although I’d feel better with the slogan “One Car Fewer.” I’m sure my English teacher would be proud. What that means is less road space taken up by vehicles designed for 4, 5 or even 7 people being used to cart one guy’s arse to and from work every day, and a better time on the road for all road users.
Walking enjoys most of the same wider social advantages provided by cycling, but loses feasibility for most people on longer journeys. Most people I know are reluctant to walk even 3 km. However most people do walk sometimes, at least a little. Cycling benefits those on foot too by reducing the number of road vehicles which could kill you, or a loved one as a result of driver negligence (commonly referred to as “an accident”).
So if you don’t cycle, and don’t ever want to cycle make sure you still get behind initiatives which promote cycling, such as traffic law enforcement, lower speed limits, (non-crap) cycling infrastructure, increased use and length of driving bans for motoring offences and the continuation of positive measures such as the Cycle to Work scheme. It will still benefit you in the end.