Research commissioned by the Bicycle Association has revealed that follow through on London’s 2030 “Net Zero Carbon” vision could benefit the city’s economy to the tune of £5 Billion annually.
Carried out by independent research group Transport for Quality of Life, the findings indicate that the job creation attributed to making the changes would likely result in 25,000 jobs linked to cycling. This would be in addition to the 8,000 jobs already associated with cycling.
These jobs, it is said, would stem from a tripling of sales of cycling products and services on the high street, while the economy would benefit from the related environmental and health benefits to Londoners’ as a result of using those products and services.
Dr. Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive of the London Cycling Campaign, said: “London is showing strong leadership by targeting net zero carbon status by 2030. A large-scale shift to cycling from private car use is essential to achieving this. This must-read research shows that investing in high quality cycling infrastructure will not only enable this shift, but generate a huge number of new, green, career opportunities, especially for the most disadvantaged Londoners. It will also help create new business opportunities that will help revitalise London’s hard hit high streets.”
With 4.7 million car journeys – half under 3km – cyclable every day in London, a significant increase in cycling mode share to 14% of short trips in the capital is a realisable ambition. Over 80 cities worldwide have already achieved this level and higher.
The report highlights the progress that is already underway. In 2020, increasing levels of cycling in London helped avoid around 270 premature deaths, nearly 1,900 serious illnesses, around 216 million vehicle kilometres, and thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions.
The research has been assisted by the Bicycle Association’s data services that track existing product sales in the marketplace. Simon Irons, in charge of this service at the BA, said: “We’ve used this data to help forecast how big the bicycle economy would be when London becomes a zero carbon city. We want to share this information with Londoners to show just how economically valuable cycling is. Then we want to do the same for every region of England and the devolved nations.”