Business in the Community

Contribution of cycling to the UK economy

The contribution of cycling to the UK Economy

Cycling generates nearly £3bn a year for the UK economy (LSE). The figure includes £51m in revenue for British manufacturers from the 3.7m cycles sold in 2010 – a rise of 28% on 2009. The gross cycling contribution of £2.9bn for the economy takes into account factors such as bicycle manufacturing, cycle and accessory retail and cycle-related employment.

Employing around 23,000 people, the UK cycling sector made a £500m employment contribution in 2010, including more than £100m in income tax and National Insurance contributions in 2010. A total of 208m cycle journeys were made in 2010, with a net addition of 1.3m more cyclists taking to their bikes compared to the previous year, bringing the total to 13m (undoubtedly this figure has increased still further in the past 2 years).

Of these new cyclists, half a million are now cycling regularly. New cyclists alone contributed £685m to the UK economy, with existing regular cyclists representing a total market value of £635m. The LSE report also showed that regular cyclists take 7.4 sick days per year, compared with 8.7 sick days for non-cyclists.

The report also indicates that a 20% increase in cycling by 2015 would save the economy £207m in reduced traffic congestion, £71m in lower pollution levels and £52m in NHS costs. 

 

LSE 2011 (page 4)

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