Cyclist.ie – the member for Ireland of the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) attended the “Cycling for Growth” round-table seminar in Brussels yesterday (Invitation here) . Damien Ó Tuama, National Cycling Coordinator made the trip over on behalf of Irish cyclists. The event was organised by ECF to mark the publication of three new studies demonstrating how cycling is good for the economy and job creation.
The studies recommended three main points:
- We need more investment in cycling, stimulated by EU subsidies for cycling measures
- We need to integrate cycling into growth plans
- We need to improve fiscal benefits for cyclists.
On this last point, we learned the astonishing statistic that, on an EU basis, tax subsidies for company cars lead to direct government revenue losses of €54 billion according to a paper published by the European Commission. ECF and Cyclist.ie strongly recommend that we need a level playing field for all modes of transport throughout Europe, including those that have a positive impact on public health and the environment.
According to the ECF report “Jobs and job creation in the European cycling sector”, there are more than 650,000 full-time jobs linked to cycling today in Europe. This number is estimated to increase up to 1 million jobs by 2020 if cycling modal share doubles, as ECF vision supports.
More details on the studies can be found on the ECF website
Finally, while Brussels itself – and the “EU quarter” in particular – is still a long way off what you might call bicycle friendly, it is great to know that the European Cyclists’ Federation is lobbying at the highest levels so as to centre the bicycle in transport policy … just as Cyclist.ie is doing in an Irish context.