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This week it was reported that bike sales throughout Europe are soaring, and new car sales have slumped to a 20 year low. These figures were seen in 23 countries across Eastern and Western Europe.
The difference in bike and car sales was much larger in Eastern countries than those from Western Europe, but nevertheless bike sales were still higher in France, Germany, Italy , Spain and the UK. Only in Belgium and Luxembourg have car sales remained higher than those of bikes. These figures are promising for cities across Europe who are implementing measures and incentives to increase bicycle use, and also for cities considering and exploring ways to get more people to bike to work and around the city.
Data provided by NPR.
Why have bicycle sales soared whilst new car sales have slumped? The press have pointed to the effects of the recession, however a number of newspapers have suggested that measures and incentives implemented by governments to boost bicycle use have worked.
In the UK where a total of 3,066,000 bikes were bought in the UK in 2012, compared to just 2,045,000 passenger cars, a number of initiatives to promote cycling have been implemented, including the government-based Cyclescheme, that encourages people to cycle to work and lets people buy bikes at a discount and tax-free rate.