Cycling Industry Boosts Economy by £3bn
Posted - September 9, 2011
The cycling industry produces nearly £3bn a year for the UK economy, according to a new report from the London School of Economics.
The report states that in 2010, 3.7 million cycles were sold in the UK – a rise of 28% on those sold in 2009.
In the same year more than a million people started cycling, bringing the total number of UK cyclists to 13 million.
Sky and British Cycling commissioned the report ‘British Cycling Economy’ written by Dr Alexander Grous. The report takes into consideration not only the sale of bikes, it also includes bicycle manufacturing, retail and cycle-related employment.
The growing popularity of cycling has been attributed to several different factors. The Cycle to Work Scheme has encouraged many cyclists; so far over 400,000 have signed up to the scheme. With savings of up to 48% and the rising cost of fuel, many commuters have taken to two wheels to save money. The National Cycle Network has also grown by 200%, giving cyclists more freedom and providing a safe way to get about. There are also more dedicated cycle lanes in cities and urban areas.
83% of cyclists also cite environmental concerns as a priority, choosing to cycle to reduce their carbon footprint. We also cannot forget the success of British athletes as a source of motivation; the increase of media attention on cycling and British cyclists give the public a more positive view of the sport.
However, it is still believed that the Government do not do enough to encourage cyclists: “The proportion of GDP spent on public cycling infrastructure by the UK Government has been lower than government spending in many other countries’.”
Grous also argues that if the Government were to encourage cycling, it could accumulate many more benefits.
A 20% increase in cycling levels between now and 2015 could save millions of pounds by reducing congestion; pollution levels and have an impact on NHS costs.
It would also reduce the amount of sick days employees take. On average, regular cyclists take 7.4 sick days per year, whereas non-cyclists take on average 8.7 sick days per annum. The report says that this reduction in sick days would save £128m through reduced absenteeism, with the possibility of saving £2bn over the next 10 years.
If your company would benefit from the Cycle to Work Scheme contact us for more information on how you and your employees can save money whilst improving staff morale and helping the environment.