Cycling Worth £3bn to UK Economy
With cycle-manufacturing, cycle accessory manufacturing, retail and other cycle-related employment all thrown into the mix, that's a healthy figure and a good sign of the state of the cycling industry in this country.
As many as 23,000 people are employed in these UK cycle and cycle-related industries and they contribute some £600 million to our economy in wages and taxes.
Last year 3.7 million cycles were sold in the UK, that's up 28% on 2009's figures, and apparently manufacturing accounted for £51million worth of revenue in 2010.
The total number of UK cyclists is now estimated at some 13 million, although not all of these cyclists are full time bikers.
Well, motoring is getting more expensive. I recently had to buy a car and was shocked that in the 18 months I've been out of driving a car, fuel has rocketed to around £1.45 a litre. £20 in the car doesn't get us much above the quarter tank full and that only lasts some 80 miles or so :(
And when you hear stories that youngsters are being charged thousands for car insurance, like this 20 year old apparently being given a £53,000 insurance quote (on a Vauxhall bloody Corsa!), you can see why people would rather walk or cycle.
A few of my friends have been involved in, for instance, the Cyclescheme and had discounts of around 33% on some decent cycles (Specialized and Giant cycles - both good brands) and they've certainly added to the ranks of cyclists in this country. We're especially lucky around here, having some great cycle paths in Farnborough and some really excellent off-road tracks in the surrounding MOD land.
What's more, cyclists apparently have o7.4 sick days a year less than their non-cycling counterparts who take off 8.7 sick days per year, so that's further proof that cycling is good for you.
So, rising fuel and insurance costs, improved cycle networks and concern for the environment are all factors influencing Brits to get out on their bikes and skip using the car...
...long may the cycling revolution continue :-)