- The UK cycle industry alone can deliver over 5% of the Government’s target of 2 million new green jobs by 2030
- An uplift in cycling could make a significant contribution to the UK’s carbon reduction targets
- The Bicycle Association is calling on the Government to work with the cycle industry to deliver policies which will increase demand for cycling and supply of bikes, and widen access for all.
The Bicycle Association has today released new research which outlines the potential for cycling to deliver up to 130,000 new jobs by 2030. This represents over 5% (6.5%) of the Government’s goal of 2 million new green jobs by 2030, set out in the Green Jobs Taskforce. The Government has also committed to delivering a 68% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, which will require significant decarbonisation of the transport sector.
The new report, ‘The UK cycle industry: current economic and employment benefits and decarbonisation-driven growth potential’, finds cycling can play a key role in this transition through replacing car journeys for trips of cyclable length (2-10 miles).
The cycle industry and cycling generally currently contributes an estimated £7.5 billion in economic value per year. This includes £1.2 billion in direct economic benefits and tax, with a further £0.6 billion from cycle tourism, events, and infrastructure. This diverse sector also currently supports an estimated 69,000 jobs, which range from highly skilled and technical, through to sales training, administration, construction, and delivery. The cycle industry is therefore a greater employer across Great Britain than the steel industry, which supports 39,000 jobs.
The Bicycle Association is calling on the Government to support this already valuable industry, alongside their support of other British industries such as steel, in expanding to support new jobs.
The new report from the Bicycle Association finds potential to create up to 130,000 new jobs through significantly increasing cycling. Further benefits to business would include:
- Improved high street performance,
- Increase in retail spend and employment,
- Increase in local property values,
- Agglomeration benefits.
The cycle industry is demonstrably an important green growth sector with significant potential to decarbonise transport networks across the country. The estimated 130,000 new jobs would represent a significant proportion of the 2 million green jobs the Government wants to support by 2030 and represents a significant green dividend.
To deliver these new jobs and achieve the corresponding environmental gains, the UK government and cycling industry need to work together: Government actions can increase demand for cycling, whilst the cycle industry, with appropriate strategic industrial support, can ensure supply of bikes and cycle products, services and technology.
Steve Garidis, Executive Director of the Bicycle Association, said: “Our industry is currently lacking the consistent policy framework and structural support needed to innovate and grow at the pace and direction that decarbonisation demands. It is time for the Government to recognise the value, opportunities, and needs of the cycle industry, as well as the role we can play in ensuring the UK meets its net zero and economic growth ambitions.
“We are a strategic British industry, with infinite potential to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits as demonstrated through this report, and we hope that these promising findings encourage Government to work with us to boost cycling business and broaden cycling uptake.
“Without an increase in cycling it will be much more difficult to hit our net-zero targets and it is high time that the Government put in place long term consistent funding and policies to stimulate demand, in particular for electric cycles, which have the potential to be game changing for the environment, health and the UK economy..”
Holly Mahon, [email protected]
Notes to editors:
The Bicycle Association’s recommendations to the Government are as follows:
- Funding for grants to drive demand for e-bikes and e-cargo bikes to replace car and van trips.
- Funding for innovation for the UK’s bike, e-bike and Light Electric Vehicle industry in order to grow the UK’s capacity and market share.
- Targeted funding and courses/apprenticeships for the cycle industry to support current and future skills requirements, career progression, and a ‘just transition’ for workers in high carbon sectors.
- Action to reduce inequalities in access to education, training, and jobs, to increase representation of women and other underrepresented groups.
- Increased and sustained funding for high quality walking and cycling infrastructure, with support for reallocation of road space to cycling and a reduction of the default speed limit to 20mph in built-up areas, to make streets safer for cycling.
- Targets for traffic reduction, to drive policies to reduce road traffic and carbon, for example through measures such as road pricing which would disincentivise driving and generate revenue for sustainable alternatives.
About the research:
‘The UK cycle industry: current economic and employment benefits and decarbonisation-driven growth potential’, is a report produced by Transport for Quality of Life on behalf of the Bicycle Association. It estimates the current value to the economy of cycling and the cycle industry in the UK and associated cycling jobs, and finds cycling can play a key role in the UK’s transition to decarbonisation through replacing car journeys for shorter, local trips. This new report builds on previously-published analysis by Transport for Quality of Life on behalf of the Bicycle Association, setting out the evidence base on the contribution of the bicycle industry to Britain’s industrial strategy.
About the Bicycle Association:
The Bicycle Association (BA) is the national trade association for the UK cycle industry. It represents the best interests of the UK cycle industry to government, stakeholders and the general public. The BA’s purpose is to grow the UK cycling market, by supporting, championing and shaping the industry. www.bicycleassociation.org.uk