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Economic crisis or 'greens': bicycles outsold cars in 26 of the EU 28 state members

Thursday, December 5th 2013 - 00:03 UTC
Full article 28 comments
Popularity of cycling has gone beyond the traditional “cycling capitals” such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen (Pic AFP) Popularity of cycling has gone beyond the traditional “cycling capitals” such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen (Pic AFP)

Figures from industry bodies indicate that bicycles outsold cars in 26 of the European Union's 28 states in 2012. It is thought the trend reflects a slump in car sales brought on by the continent's economic crisis.

 The popularity of cycling appears to be going beyond the traditional “cycling capitals” of northern Europe such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Italy was typical of many southern European states, with 1.6 million bikes bought as against 1.4 million cars. The northern Italian city of Milan is among the latest European cities to roll out a public bike-sharing scheme, modeled on widely-used predecessors in Paris and London.

In 2011 car sales in Italy slumped to the level at which they stood in 1964, according to local media.

The Spanish capital, Madrid, has recently unveiled plans for a “green ring” of cycle paths looping ten kilometers around the city.

Only in Belgium and Luxembourg did car sales outstrip those of bikes in 2012.

“There are more and more people cycling, as a fashion thing, but also for economic reasons,” said Pedro Carvalho, head of a magazine for cyclists in Portugal.

Authorities in London say the number of trips per day in the city by bike went up by 66% in the 10 years up to 2011 to reach 500,000.

However, in November, six cyclists were killed on London's roads in the space of 14 days, raising questions over how safe it is to cycle on the capital's road.

Top Comments

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  • The Truth PaTroll

    Baaaahahahahaha! HAHAHAHAHA.

    And this is the “hyperpower” that we can't do without for a free trade zone?

    Europe: with their bikes to automobile ratio in ALL COUNTRIES (including the UK), “boldy graveling the way back to the 19th century”.

    LOL. Wow must things be desperate.

    Dec 05th, 2013 - 02:51 am 0
  • Anglotino

    Oh God the stupidity of some people know no bounds.

    Oh to see the world through Google eyes!

    Dec 05th, 2013 - 07:43 am 0
  • CaptainSilver

    Toby the small tit puts his foot in it again... Still, in a cut off country like RGland (or should that be lardy land), they havent yet seen the need to cut pollution and improve your health.... Positively neolithic!

    Dec 05th, 2013 - 08:35 am 0
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