Cycling worth almost £3bn to British economy

Cycling adds almost £3bn to the UK economy as well as cutting emissions and pollution, according to a new report from the London School of Economics (LSE).

According to the work releases today (August 22) almost a quarter of the British population are now cyclists and the industry is experiencing a huge boom.

LSE’s academic Dr Alexander Grous says cycling is worth a staggering £2.9bn after he calculated a ‘gross cycling product’ by taking into account factors including bicycle manufacturing, cycle and accessory retail and cycle related employment.

The research claims 208 million cycle journeys were made in 2010 meaning there were 1.3M more cyclists bringing the total UK cycle population to 13M.

A 28% jump in retail sales last year led to 3.7M bikes being sold at an average price of £439 each, followed by a further £500M through the 23,000 people employed in the sector and the rest coming from the sale of accessories.

Dr Grous said: “The good news is that structural, economic, social and health factors seem finally to have created a true step-change in the UK’s cycling scene.

“The growth in involvement we’ve witnessed in recent years feels like a sustainable trend for the first time. In order to build on this momentum and follow the lead, in participation terms, of countries like Denmark and the Netherlands, it’s now essential that the industry focuses on converting the many occasional, lapsed and leisure cyclists into regular and frequent riders.”

The study was commissioned and published by Sky and British Cycling.

Luke Walsh

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