Business is booming for European cycle industry

Cycling economy may provide a million jobs by 2020, says study

Want a job? Get into cycling. That's the message coming from a new study, to be published in December, called 'Jobs and Job Creation in the European Cycling Sector'.

The paper was commissioned by the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF), reports the Guardian, and predicts that the number of jobs already created by Europe's cycling industry is now 650,000.

Furthermore, the research, conducted by the Transport and Mobility Leuven Research Institute, points to more than a million jobs being created by 2020 should the number of cycling journeys double across Europe.

The existing numbers – which include bicycle production, tourism, retail, infrastructure and services – already mean that the cycling industry employs more people than are involved in mining and quarrying or the steel industry, according to the paper.

Kevin Mayne, the ECF's development director, said that the research paper provided a basic message for governments and local authorities: “You know that investing in cycling is justified from your transport, climate change and health budgets. Now we can show clearly that every cycle lane you build and every new cyclist you create is contributing to job growth.

"Investing in cycling provides a better economic return than almost any other transport option. This should be your first choice every time,” he told the Guardian.

The study's findings also mentioned that the cycling industry employed more people, per millions of Euros in turnover, than other transport sub-sectors such as the automotive industry. Bicycle tourism accounts for some 524,000 jobs within the cycling-based economy – dwarfing the 80,000 employed in retail roles.

Cycling-related jobs were also found to be more geographically stable than others, and produce a knock-on effect on the local economy because "cyclists go more to local shops, restaurants, cafes than users of other transport modes", according to the paper.

Gregor is BikeRadar's Beginners and Family section editor after leading a cycling heavy youth and regularly clocking up more than 34 miles on the ride to work each day. He's interested in the lighter side of cycling, such as commuting, children's bikes and the occasional short sportive. He also helps to keep BikeRadar's forum in check, and can often be found joining in conversation threads on how to step chafing and the like.

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