by Jack Oortwijn 30 Aug 2013
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany – The ambition is clear; the Cycling Industry Club’s ambition is to enlist 500 industry members in the next years. That was expressed at the 2nd Advocacy Summit that took place yesterday at Eurobike. Here the results were presented of a ECF study that quantifies the economic benefits of cycling for the European economy in a reliable manner for the first time.
All current Cycling Industry Club members with on the far right the CIC director Kevin Mayne. This Club of 8 companies which included some of the biggest bike makers, has to grow to about 500 companies. - Photo: Bike Europe
Policy makers are not easily convinced. That's why the European Cyclists' Federation which initiated the Cycling Industry Club, has recently undertaken an in-depth study on cycling benefits. One of the main results of the study is that cycling in Europe is worth almost 200 billion euro, or as much as the entire GDP of Denmark.
Kevin Mayne, Director of Development of ECF says, "It is essential work for political influence. We have understood that leaders like Angela Merkel need economic arguments to invest in cycling in times of economic crisis. So it is our job as advocates to create and use the tools that work."
"But we must also put in a language we can all use. 200 billion euro means saving 400 euro for every citizen of the EU. That is how cycling advocacy works. Strong, relevant messages in the right language. That's why a German chancellor comes to Eurobike."
ECF and its member organizations can look back at a series of impressive advocacy successes based on their first experiences. The German ADFC helped bring about the German National Cycling plan, which has just been renewed until 2020. ECF's Hungarian members pressed the national government to pledge 200 million euro for cycling, and British cycling advocates managed to unlock 1 billion euro for cycling in London.
Other examples for advocacy tools presented at the 2nd Advocacy Summit include 2013's new ECF cycling barometer, a ranking of European countries according to their cycling friendliness. Similarly German member ADFC produces the Fahrradklima-Test, comparing the "cycling climate" in different German cities once a year. All these approaches force attention from European, national and local policy makers and extensive media coverage.
Jeroen Snijders Blok of Accell Group said, "The role of ECF's Cycling Industry Club is to convince local, national and international governments and national and international health organizations of all the advantages cycling brings to the community of people."
Stan Day of SRAM also says that the Cycling Industry Club must leas with these new approaches. "This is essential to growing our industry and its potential. The Cycling Industry Club is where we must have the strongest common effort, even if we have organized ourselves in various trade organizations to tackle other subjects." Stan Day made a strong plea for other companies to join and in particular European bike brands as well as the, what he called, "The elephant in our industry."
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