Further participants were Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport Elke Zimmer MdL and Ministerial Councillor Dr Markus Decker from the Ministry of Economics.
The initiator of the “Parliamentary Circle on Cycling”, Hermino Katzenstein MdL (Greens), welcomed the participants with the words: “Bicycles play an important role in Baden-Wuerttemberg, not only ecologically but also economically!”
Founder of Zedler-Institut and Managing Director Dirk Zedler explained in his welcome speech using his company as an example that the cycle industry is much more than the obvious sale and repair of bicycles and e-bikes in the trade. In addition, he pointed out that the usability of bicycles must be increased to make sure that “the Covid sales rush is not followed by a hangover.”
In a keynote speech, ZIV Managing Director Burkard Stork explained the status of the bicycle as an economic engine in Baden-Wuerttemberg and its further potential: The product bicycle is part of the solution to many of today’s pressing problems: climate change, lack of exercise, social participation, quality of life in the quarter and much more!”
There were lively and completely open discussions on topics such as the growth of the industry in recent years and its effects, the adaptation of the bicycle infrastructure to the conditions, the difficult economic situation and the transformation of transportation.
In summary, the following expectations and demands were addressed to politics:
- More investment in education and training, e.g. decentralised schools for two-wheeler mechatronics in Baden-Wuerttemberg and the establishment of a professorship of bicycle engineering.
- Further training opportunities for employees from the automotive sector, a huge industry especially in the Stuttgart region, which is facing an enormous transformation.
- Expansion of the bicycle infrastructure for the many potential commuters who have purchased or leased high-quality bicycles and e-bikes in recent years and who, with better infrastructure, would like to switch from the car to the bicycle.
- Abolition of the 2-metre rule in forests, with which Baden-Wuerttemberg maintains an unnecessary exceptional regulation.
- Access of speed pedelecs on cycle paths, at least out of town.
Text: Jo Beckendorff/Zedler‐Institut