More bikes in the street is more than just a fashion trend – it is at the core of Denmark’s productivity and growth, according Denmark’s top business lobby, the Confederation of Danish Industry.
The Confederation has just completed a major study into the impact on the economy of the nation’s bike riding culture. The conclusion: Let’s have more of it!
The study found that if Denmark increased riding by 10 per cent, there would be 267,000 fewer sick days each year, 112,000 of which would be work days.
The savings to the economy would be A$250M a year.
And the number of hours of traffic congestion in the capital region around Copenhagen would drop by 6 per cent.
“I was not expecting that the effect on economy, public health and road traffic would be so great,” It gives food for thought,” Michael Svane, Director of the Danish Transport Federation, said of the results.
“These calculations give us some big and very concrete numbers for how much there is to gain if more Danes choose their bike over the car.”
Svane has proposed the establishment of a national cycling fund that could support more targeted efforts to promote cycling.
“Getting more people to cycle to and from work is in everyone’s interest,” he says.
“The more people who cycle, the more space there is on roads for the traffic for which there is no alternative.”
Meanwhile, back in Australia, it is hard to imagine the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry commissioning such a study into the link between bike commuting and productivity, and even harder to imagine them calling for a funding boost for cycling.
So what is their top issue to make Australian business more competitive? You guessed right, it is not higher productivity, it is lower taxes.