Cycling is quite literally becoming big business. As more people opt for this environmentally mode of transport, or pursue cycling as an exercise or leisure activity, more jobs are being created every day. It is estimated that by 2020 Europe's cycling industry will create 20 million jobs.
Pedal power is stimulating local economies and providing jobs not just in bicycle production but in many other areas related to cycling. Tourism is one sector which benefits greatly as cyclists are more prone to visit and use local amenities than travelers that use other forms of transport.
The more investment that is made in creating an attractive cycle friendly environment, the bigger the rewards as more people choose to cycle. Investing in road safety campaigns encourages more people to consider cycling as a safe mode of transport. The health benefits obtained through cycling have a knock on effect by reducing the pressure on health services.
Creating dedicated cycle lanes encourages more people to take their bicycles to avoid traffic congestion and parking costs. This in turn helps to reduce local traffic congestion and has a positive impact on air pollution. The cleaner the air, the more people will want to spend time outdoors. As countries invest more in their cycling infrastructure which makes cycling more appealing, then again more jobs are created in construction projects.
Local retailers, cafes and restaurants all benefit from an upsurge in trade, so providing cycle lanes and safe road crossings encourage cyclists to make use of greener, cycle friendly town centers.
Cycling also contributes to more jobs in the growth retail sector of bicycle tourism. It isn't just bicycles that sell but all the related accessories ranging from tools, light, bags, dashboard computers, helmets and clothing. Naturally the production of all these cycling accessories is another area of job creation.
With over 600,000 people already employed in the cycling related industry it is easy to envisage this number could increase to 20 million if enough investment was made to encourage more people to cycle. All it would need is for the current level of 3% of journeys within Europe by bicycle to double to 6%. Cycling is indeed a growth industry that is predicted to stimulate the European economy in a positive way.