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Expanding the UK cycle industry could deliver up to 130,000 new jobs by 2030, according to BA

The Bicycle Association (BA) has released new research which outlines the potential for cycling to deliver up to 130,000 new jobs by 2030.

This represents more than 5% (6.5%) of the Government’s goal of 2million 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, between two and 10 miles.

Estimates say that 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 BA 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.

This report 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 2million 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.

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Steve Garidis, executive director of the BA, 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..”

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