The businesses behind the UK’s burgeoning cycling sector converge today at the London Bike Show, highlighting the positive impact of pedal power on the economy
The London Bike Show is the biggest event of its kind in the UK. This year it is staged over four days from February 16-19 at the ExCel London centre, and the growth of the sector means organisers will hope to eclipse the success of the 2016 event, which attracted more than 52,000 visitors.
The 2017 show will feature hundreds of exhibitors representing businesses from across the UK, indoor and outdoor events and a host of guest speakers. Ahead of the event, here’s a look at some of the ways that cycling continues to turn the wheels of the British economy…
The Cycle to Work scheme, which allows companies to loan employees a bike as a tax-free perk, provides economic and social benefits worth £72m a year through improved fitness and reduced absenteeism, according to a 2016 report carried out by the Institute of Employment Studies. The figure was calculated from a survey of 13,000 cyclists actively using the scheme.
The National Cycle Network covers 14,000 miles, stretching the length and breadth of the UK. Since its launch 20 years ago, it has saved the British economy £7bn, according to cycle charity Sustrans, which used data from the Department for Transport.
The Scottish highlands may look daunting for unmotorised transport of any kind, but the area is a magnet for leisure travellers. Mountain biking and cycle tourism contribute an estimated £358m a year to the Scottish economy, according to a report from Cycle UK.
Among new products in the innovation hub at the London Bike Show is the Headkayse helmet, launched with £100,000 from a crowdfunding campaign. It uses Enkayse, a material which flexes to the shape of its wearer’s head and can handle repeated low-level impact. Unlike regular helmets, which use ‘sacrificial protection’, users can drop it or fall off their bike without having to replace the helmet. Not that we recommend putting it to the test.