BA research: net zero London means 25k new cycling jobs and £5 billion/year bicycle economy boost
November 23, 2021
A report commissioned by the Bicycle Association (BA) from the independent research group Transport for Quality of Life, published today, indicates that achieving London’s net zero carbon target 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, with the support of 1000+ Investor in Cycling companies who fund its advocacy work, is working with local advocacy group, the London Cycling Campaign, to highlight the economic, employment and environmental benefits of growing the bicycle economy to leaders and decision makers across London.
The report details 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.
With 4.7 million car journeys – half under 3 km – cyclable every day in London, a significant increase in cycling mode share to 14% of short trips in the capital is a realisable ambition. Over 80 cities worldwide have already achieved this level and higher.
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.
The report highlights the progress that is already underway. In 2020, increasing levels of cycling in London helped avoid around 270 premature deaths, nearly 1,900 serious illnesses, around 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. He added:
“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.
We want to share this information with Londoners to show just how economically valuable cycling is. Then, with the support of the industry’s Investors in Cycling, we want to do the same for every region of England and the devolved nations.”
Dr. Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of the London Cycling Campaign, said:
“London is showing strong leadership by targeting net zero carbon status by 2030. A large-scale shift to cycling from private car use is essential to achieving this. This must-read research shows that investing in high quality cycling infrastructure will not only enable this shift, but generate a huge number of new, green, career opportunities, especially for the most disadvantaged Londoners. It will also help create new business opportunities that will help revitalise London’s hard hit high streets.”