Netherlands is top European bike maker

30 percent of European production from the Dutch

The Netherlands has increased its lead as Europe's biggest bicycle maker, raising its share of production from 20 to 30 percent in four years, Dutch statistics agency CBS says.

"Bicycles worth a total of 1.9 billion euros were produced in the European Union in 2008," the agency said in a statement. "Of that, more than 30 percent were from the Netherlands."

The value-share of Dutch bike production in Europe grew by about 10 percent from a fifth in 2004, said the statement.

In 2008, the Netherlands counted about 18 million bicycles for 16.5 million citizens, according to figures provided by manufacturer organisations RAI and Bovag.

The Dutch travelled 14.2 billion kilometres by bike in 2007, compared to 21.5bn with public transport and 97.5bn by car.

© 2009 AFP & BikeRadar

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