Why Cycling is Good for the Economy

In Cycling, People / Groups

Article updated June 2021

Many eco-friendly and health-conscious individuals support the two-wheeled trend, and due to this backing, a fully-fledged bicycle economy has emerged.

You may be familiar with the media images of city-goers using bicycles as a form of day-to-day transport. Headlines have confirmed that this low-cost means of travel is rising rapidly in popularity. Aside from the many obvious health benefits, bikes take up little space, and regardless of whether you’re running an errand or taking the scenic route to work – they boast an efficient means of transport.

An Environmentally-Friendly Choice

Urban Traffic Jam

Our extreme dependence on motorised road vehicles imposes huge economic costs on today’s society. Such costs comprise road casualties, congestion, physical inactivity and air pollution. Cars also generate a number of geopolitical costs in the shape of retaining fossil fuel provisions. If we continue to use such provisions at the rate we are doing so, we may be heading towards an increasingly unstable physical and political environment.

Small-Scale Projects

Pedestrian and Cycle Path

The benefits of investing in small-scale projects (many of which benefit cyclers) are often miscalculated. However, car-dependence has a huge effect on our society, causing our governments to pump large amounts of money into huge transport projects (roadworks). It costs a lot less to put up a bike rack and create a new cycle lane than it does to build a motorway!

A Cost Effective-Investment

Traffic-Free Street

Recent studies have showcased cycling to be a cost-effective investment for the national economy. There are ample benefits to such an investment, including a reduction in congestion, new job openings, an improvement in public health (which will in turn save the health department money) and an improvement in productivity. Other paybacks include increased vitality of town centres, a lift in house prices (few desire a heavily-trafficked road outside their home) and a boost in the cycle trade.

The Benefits of Cycling and Why It’s Good For The Economy

Vintage Bicycle in Urban Landscape

Aside from keeping you fit and allowing you to dodge the morning rush, urban, low-traffic bikeway networks are also proving to be an extremely good thing for the economy. When money isn’t being pumped into petrol tanks, the car market and the insurance sector, It’s astonishing how much can be put back into the community. Cycling to work will certainly save you a great deal of money on your commute.

What Does The New Bicycle Economy Look Like?

Aside from freeing heavily congested roads of unwanted traffic, the current bicycle economy is welcoming a number of new bicycle shops. The bike industry took a hit when the recession emerged, however, due to those who have chosen to swap their cars for a more environmentally friendly form of transport, bike sales are hitting a new high.

Fewer Parking Spaces To Consider

Large Bike Rack

Many businesses pay out huge sums on staff and visitor parking every year. However, the newly emerging bike boom has allowed a number of these businesses to swap expensive car parking spaces for bike racks instead.

Cycle Lanes Have Created More Jobs

Cyclists on a Town Cycle Lane

Aside from car-related projects, bicycle lanes have created a multitude of jobs. In fact, studies show that bicycle lanes have generated up to 46% more jobs than that of car-only road projects. With more and more health-conscious individuals choosing to cycle to and from work on a daily basis, the need to create a number of bike-friendly communities is growing by the minute. This just goes to show that spending money on bike infrastructure can create a number of positive economic impacts. Aside from employing individuals to install bike lanes – shops selling bicycles, helmets, lights and kneepads are spreading thick and fast, which has in turn created a number of jobs in the retail industry. Certain companies have even introduced foldaway bikes (ideal for those working in a busy city centre or those who wish to split their commute between the bike and the train), whilst others are marketing new style and old-style bicycles as a fashion accessory. Aside from the average bike, you can now invest in a variety of styles, colours and designs, all of which are suited to both male and female.

The Tourist Economy

Cyclists in Sunshine

Cycling boasts a huge impact on the tourist economy and travellers who choose to visit busy cities are now choosing bike rental over car hire. Not only is such a method proving to be more cost-effective, it’s an easier way to explore and one that doesn’t incur heavy parking fees. A number of bike firms are now opening their doors in a variety of locations, offering everyday rentals as well as highly sophisticated mountain bikes.

Cycling and Health

Cyclists in a City

Those with fast-paced careers and hectic jobs often find little time to exercise. Gym memberships can take a huge chunk out of your monthly salary and unless you plan to workout on a regular basis, spending this money isn’t worthwhile. However, cycling to and from work can have huge benefits. Whilst saving money on petrol, car insurance and public transport expenses, those who cycle are able to increase their heart rate without going out of their way to do so. Just two 15-minute journeys a day is all it takes to increase your level of physical activity, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type II diabetes to name just a few ailments. 

Read more about the Health Benefits of Cycling