The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) has launched a report titled ‘The Benefits of Cycling: Unlocking their Potential for Europe’ at a high level stakeholder event.
According to the figures calculated by ECF, cycling creates benefits of up to €150 billion every year in the EU, including the UK, with more than €90 billion in positive externalities for the environment, public health and mobility system.
In comparison, a recent study published by the EU Commission estimated the negative externalities for the same categories at almost €800 billion per year.
The report highlights that the benefits of cycling appear not only in specific, isolated fields like transport or environmental policy, but in many other areas where the EU has competences as well, like industrial policy, employment, health and social policy.
As a result, ECF is now calling for an integrated EU Cycling strategy that will include these fields, and unlock the full potential of cycling in all relevant policy areas.
With the next Multi-annual Financial Framework coming up, the EU now has an opportunity to increase the financial means available for promoting cycling in all relevant funding streams, including regional funding, research programmes, and support for SMEs.
ECF is recommending EU investments for cycling to be increased to at least €3 billion, up from around €2 billion in the current funding period.
Last month, ECF launched a report exploring the links between bicycle and car off-road parking and the impact upon transport choice, titled ‘Making Building Suitable for Sustainable Mobility’.