Traffic: The bicycle industry calls for the expansion of cycle paths and subsidies

The German bicycle industry is demanding more support from politicians in the course of the traffic turnaround.

Traffic: The bicycle industry calls for the expansion of cycle paths and subsidies

The German bicycle industry is demanding more support from politicians in the course of the traffic turnaround. "In order to achieve a rapid shift in traffic, a comprehensive network of cycle paths must be set up immediately," said the Bicycle Future Association on Wednesday in Berlin. A sustainable transport policy is needed that encourages more people to cycle by providing a safe and efficient infrastructure.

According to the association, which represents manufacturers, dealers, start-ups and service providers, cycle highways and safe crossings are necessary. In addition, well-developed cycle paths, which are often lacking in cities and communities, could boost cycle tourism.

Model France

The association also called for targeted subsidies for the industry, such as bringing bicycle production back to Germany, trade tax rebates for manufacturers and a reduction in VAT on bicycles. In addition, politicians should support companies in converting their company bicycle fleets, expand purchase incentives for cargo bikes and strengthen sharing offers. Countries like France or Portugal strengthened domestic bicycle production with targeted funding. "With appropriate political support, the strong bicycle industry in this country could do even more," said Wasilis von Rauch, Managing Director of Zukunft Fahrrad.

The association referred to the growth of the industry, which had experienced a special boom in the corona pandemic. In 2022, the bicycle industry employed around 63,000 people in the core areas of manufacturing, trading and services related to sharing, rental and leasing of bikes. That is 30 percent more employees than in 2019, according to calculations by the Transportation Think Tank T3 for the association. Then there is bicycle tourism.

Sales in the core areas increased by 70 percent between 2019 and 2022 to around 28 billion euros. Accordingly, services grew the most, driven by company bike leasing. Every fourth new e-bike is already leased.

The bicycle industry had experienced immense demand during the pandemic, and there were delivery problems. Recently, the boom ebbed away, which is reflected in full stocks and discounts for some retailers.

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