Carlton ReidSat 16 Jun 2018 07.30 BST
A new report argues we’d all benefit if the government started taking the cycle industry seriously
If a country wants to make things, it needs a domestic steel industry. Our government considers this industry to be one of national strategic importance. But you would think it was also important to keep people moving, to make sure the air they breathe is clean and to look after their health.
It just so happens that cycling is one of the ways to unsnarl traffic congestion, reduce pollution and make folks hale and hearty. People who cycle to work even have fewer days off sick.
But the cycle industry isn’t currently considered in any strategic sense by our government. That needs to change, argues a new report, The Value of the Cycling Sector to the British Economy, commissioned by the Bicycle Association.
The report, launched this week in London’s Guildhall, reveals that the UK cycle industry is no pipsqueak: it is actually worth three times more than the UK steel industry, and employs twice as many people.Cycling-related businesses generate at least £5.4bn for the UK economy each year, and they sustain 64,000 jobs – some in bike shops, but most in cycle tourism of one sort or the other.