Britain’s Cycling Economy: A Booming Business

נשלח 24 באוג׳ 2011, 13:36 על ידי Sustainability Org   [ עודכן 31 באוג׳ 2011, 13:09 ]
24.08.2011

Britain’s booming cycling economy made headlines this week with a 24 page report from the London School of Economics putting it in the spotlight. ECF Policy Officer Martti Tulenheimo comments on the news.

The British Cycling Economy

Britain’s booming cycling economy made headlines this week with a 24 page report from the London School of Economics putting it in the spotlight. ECF Policy Officer Martti Tulenheimo comments on the news.

The economic benefits of cycling we’ve been talking about for a while has finally hit the headlines. Bike industry guru, Carlton Reid from Bike Biz blasted out news early Monday morning that London’s cycling economy was booming as did BBC, the Guardian, Bike Europe and a host of other news agencies.  David Suzuki was also onboard last week with an article on how bicycles pay dividends.

As bicycle advocates, we’ve been spreading the word of a cycling economy for some time now. For me, the most valuable stuff from this recent study is how cycling helps the economy by saving, especially at a time when the EU is screaming out for austerity measures. The report points to these savings quite clearly with frequent cyclists saving the economy £2bn in reduced sick days in the next decade.

Perhaps I’m stating the obvious, but let me say it again: cycling = time and money saved; whereas car dominated culture = huge waste of money and time squandered in traffic jams. The health costs due to a sedentary lifestyle and the building of road infrastructure are incredibly expensive for societies.

Writing on the issue, Bikeradar quite nicely articulated that “Just a 20 percent rise in current cycling levels by 2015 could save £207m in reduced traffic congestion and £71m in lower pollution. It also claims there is around £516m of untapped economic potential for people waiting to start cycling, with barriers including cycling road safety and confidence needing to be broken down. It's now essential that the industry focuses on converting the many occasional, lapsed and leisure cyclists into regular and frequent riders."

So investing in cycling infrastructure does clearly pay dividends. In fact, the cycling economy is a phenomenon which the Netherlands has already been tapping into for years. According to a recent report, €100 million will be invested in bicycle highways which will lead to future annual profits of at least €144 million in travel time gained, better health and environmental benefits. In other words the Dutch know that they are sitting on a goldmine. The UK is starting to wake up to this fact. What about the rest of the world? 

Enough of the facts and the figures. It’s time for you to do your homework, and browse through Bike Portland’s neatly gathered list of studies about the economic benefits of bicycling.

Martti Tulenheimo is the current Policy Officer and Member Contact person at ECF.

Source: ecf.com


 Related articles:

The British Cycling Economy - Full Report

Bicycling is Booming, says top economist

Summer Reading: Economic Benefits of Cycling

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