Cycling in Wallonia: Does It Pay Off?

Estimation of the direct and indirect impacts of cycling today and in the future

Cycling is a mode of transport with high social benefits. It is beneficial for one's health, cheap, provides higher quality of life in cities, less pollution, better use of the limited space, etc. Cycling also provides a direct contribution to the local economy through the sale and especially the maintenance of bicycles. Very often, however, more cycling also implies a higher risk of road accidents.

The effects were studied for 2012 and 2030. The 2030 effects were calculated with a small model based on a situation with a 10% modal share for cycling.   The main conclusions on the impacts of a scenario with a cycling modal share of 10% in 2030 are:

  • Societal gains are between 4 and 11 times greater than the costs
  • The societal gains are estimated at 800 million euro
  • Health benefits are by far the most important
    • A 10% modal share reduces the number of deaths in Wallonia by 400 each year
    • Health benefits are estimated at around 1 billion euro
  • Households can reduce their transport expenses drastically by about 140 million euro
    • Nearly 50 million euro of this amount is in taxes and excises (which are not considered a societal gain)
    • The major part of the household gain is for households gettting rid of a car
  • The exploitation expenses for public transport can be reduced by 50 million euro
    • 30 million euro of this sum concerns a decrease in the public contribution, which implies a gain for public finances
    • The gains are possible due to a decrease in the growth rate of public transport, not thanks to a decrease of the public transport service level
  • The relative accident risk of cycling (risk for accident per km) is reduced due to the increased number of cyclists (safety by numbers) and extra investment in better infrastructure
    • The number of extra deaths is very limited, between 0 and 7
    • The number of extra injured people is important, evaluated at between 130 and 175 million euro
  • 4000 jobs are present in the broad cycling sector in 2030
  • The bicycle retail sector has a job intensity 4 times higher than the car retail sector (jobs/euro of turnover)

reports

Final report (in French) can be found on the website of La Service Public de Wallonie DGO2: http://mobilite.wallonie.be/home/politiques-de-mobilite/wallonie-cyclable/economie.html  or here

Project summary (in French)

Project presentation (in French - in English)

presentation

10 October 2014, Bruno Van Zeebroeck gave a presentation at a meeting organised by the University of Namen and Gracq: Evaluation économique de la pratique du vélo en Wallonie

period

2013 - 2014

funded by

Service Public de Wallonie DGO2

partners

ProVelo

contact

Bruno Van Zeebroeck

+32 16 31.77.32
reference: 13.55