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Bicycle sales rise as two-wheeled transport soars in popularity, but pro-cycling policies lag behind demand
14 May 2017 @ 02:48

BIKES are clearly in fashion in Spain and it's a trend that's here to stay – over 1.1 million bicycles were bought by ordinary residents in 2015 alone, outnumbering cars by 70,000.

Figures for 2016 are not yet available, but expected to be similar or higher as residents take advantage of mild winters in the south and Mediterranean to get about without needing to be inside a heated car, and those in the colder north enjoy cool enough summers that they do not need to hang up their two-wheeled transport because it is too hot.

Although mountain bikes continue to be market leaders, cycles designed for urban transport are becoming more and more popular by the year, says the Association of Bicycle Brands for Spain (AMBE).

A positive correlation has been seen between bicycle sales and 'cyclist-friendly' urban policies, AMBE reveals – which means Valencia and Sevilla, already reported at Easter to be Spain's best biking cities, lead the field.

As revealed in our report of Saturday, April 15 this year, Sevilla is credited with the best cycle-path network and in Valencia, 12% of residents use a bike as their main mode of transport, including mayor Joan Ribó (Compromís), but Madrid is the worst-rated due to traffic, accident risk and pollution.

But a complete State policy in favour of cyclists, covering infrastructure, accident prevention and air quality, is still at the draft phase, despite The Netherlands and the UK having had such programmes in place since 1990 and 1996 respectively, says Manuel Martín of the Bike Protection Coordinator (ConBici).


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