Le marché britannique du cyclisme en plein boom

En juin 2008, Gordon Brown, premier ministre anglais de l’époque, déclarait « la place du cyclisme dans notre société va inévitablement grandir, et je ferai tout ce qui est en mon pouvoir pour encourager.

Il semblerait que Gordon Brown aie tenu sa promesse puisque l’économie du cyclisme est en pleine boom selon le dernier rapport de la London School of Economics.

En effet, près d’1/4 de la population des britanniques se déclarent cyclistes, soit 13 millions de personnes. En 2009, ce chiffre s’élévait à 11.7 millions soit une augmentation de 11%! Au total ce sont près de 208 millions de déplacements au Royaume-Uni, un vrai record! L’étude révèle néanmoins différentes typologies de cyclistes selon leur fréquence d’activité : les Fréquents (plus d’une fois par semaine) et les Occasionnels représentent 3.5 millions de personnes chacun alors que les Réguliers (plus d’1 fois par mois) rassemblent 4.3 millions de personnes. Une pratique qui s’est renforcée grâce à deux initiatives phares, les événements Sky Ride (200 000 participants) et le programme Barclays Cycle Hire, le Velib londonien, qui compte maintenant 22 000 usagers quotidiens pour 5 000 vélos.

Dans le cadre de cette étude commandité par la fédération britannique de cyclisme et Sky, Dr. Alexander Grous de la LSE a calculé le « PCB », le Produit Cycliste Brut, en intégrant des données liées à l’industrie du vélo, la vente de produits et les emplois liés. Les chiffres sont sans appel. Les ventes de produits ont augmenté de 28%, soit 28 millions de vélos vendus à un prix moyen unitairede £439. Au total, les Britanniques ont dépensé près de 1,6 milliards de livres sur l’achat de vélos, 850 millions sur les accessoires, c’est-à-dire 2.3 milliards de livres, auxquels il faut ajouter l’emploi lié au cyclisme (23 000 personnes) qui pèse 500 millions de livres, soit un total de 2,9 milliards de livres. Vous avez bien lu, le marché du vélo au Royaume-Uni pèse près de 3 milliards de livres.
Le développement de la pratique du cyclisme a un impact plus large car comme vous le savez, pratiquer une activité sportive a un impact sur la santé de la personne. Cette étude de la LSE démontre que les cyclistes Réguliers sont moins souvent absents au travail (7.4 jours d’arrêt maladie vs 8.7 jours pour un britannique moyen), ce qui économise 128 millions de livres. A ce rythme là, dans 10 ans, ce n’est pas moins d’1,6 milliards de livres qui auront été économisés!

En se projetant sur les conséquences socio-démographiques, l’augmentation de la pratique du cyclisme ne peut être que bénéfique pour le Royaume-Uni. En effet, les estimations montrent qu’une augmentation de 7% du nombre de cyclistes Fréquents et Réguliers d’ici 2013 pourrait donner un boost économique supplémentaire de près de 2 milliards de livres, ce qui est toujours bon à prendre vu la situation actuelle. Et tout laisse penser à croire que c’est bien parti pour avec les J.O de Londres. En allant encore plus loin, une augmentation de 20% de la pratique pourrait réduire le niveau de pollution et les problèmes de circulation, débloquant un joli pactole de près de 280 millions de livres.

Le marché britannique du cyclisme en a clairement encore sous la pédale, maintenant reste à voir si les autorités vont prendre le bon wagon et permettre à cette activité de se développer pleinement!

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