A new report suggests that tripling the amount of cycling in London would create 25,000 new green jobs in London’s ‘Bicycle Economy’ and an economic dividend of nearly £5 billion a year.
The Bicycle Association commissioned the report from research group Transport for Quality of Life with the support of more than a thousand “investor in cycling” companies who fund its advocacy work. Working with local advocacy group, the London Cycling Campaign, is says it is highlighting the economic, employment and environmental benefits of growing the bicycle economy to leaders and decision makers across London.
The report details what it sees as an economic dividend of nearly £5 billion each year to the London economy, from a tripling of sales of cycling products and services on the high street; and the related environmental and health benefits from Londoners’ use of those products and services.
It says with 4.7 million car journeys – half under two miles – cyclable every day in London, a significant increase in cycling mode share to 14% of short trips in the capital “is a realisable ambition”. It says more than 80 cities worldwide have already achieved this level and higher.
The report states that such an increase in cycling, still a small part of the overall transport mix, would generate up to 25,000 ‘green jobs’ in London’s bicycle economy – in retail, logistics, manufacturing and tourism. This would be in addition to the 8,000 jobs already in cycling. It highlights what it calls the progress that is already underway, believing that in 2020, increasing levels of cycling in London helped avoid around 270 premature deaths, nearly 1,900 serious illnesses, around 135 million vehicle miles (216 million vehicle kilometres), and thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions.
“By 2030 it’s not just the positive environmental benefit of net zero which will be dramatic – but the economic benefit too,” said Simon Irons, the Bicycle Association’s Market Data Service Director. “Our market data is probably the best of any cycling market in the world – tracking nearly a million cycling products and services every month. We’ve used this data to help forecast how big the bicycle economy would be when London becomes a zero carbon city.”
(Picture – Yay Images)