The bicycle is present in the media and politically as never before, cycling is becoming more and more attractive: The electrification of the bicycle, cargo bikes and job bike leasing make cycling the number one progressive mobility. The bicycle industry associations call on the German traffic light coalition to promote the enormous economic and innovative power of the industry in order to establish sustainable mobility solutions and achieve the climate targets. This was also an aspect that was pointed out by Uwe Woell, Managing Director of VSF, in his opening speech and he invited everyone to use the joint evening as inspiration and change of perspective. The exhibition around the event, which presented innovative bicycles, bicycle products and components from all fields, also contributed to this.
In his opening speech, Dr Volker Wissing praised the bicycle as the means of transport of the future. “Everywhere we are looking for and researching for the mobility solution. It should be efficient, climate-friendly, affordable, clean, independent of fossil fuels and, if possible, also convey a feeling of freedom. That sounds like an unrealistic dream. But it has already become real. The bicycle combines almost all the aspects I just mentioned.”
Dirk Zedler, the Deputy Chairman of the bicycle association Zukunft Fahrrad, calls for the systematic and sustainable promotion of bicycle use in the mobility mix: “Our sector is growing and offers climate-friendly transport solutions in addition to the great innovation potential. The e-bike as prime example expands the everyday suitability of the bicycle enormously. The driver of the e-bike boom and the bicycle economy as a whole is the job bike leasing. Half of all DAX companies already offer bike leasing, and the trend is rising. This offer finally needs to be stabilized by the legislator with an independent regulation in the Income Tax Act.
The Managing Director of ZIV, Burkhard Stork, emphasises the importance of reliable and long-term funding for cycle traffic promotion by the federal government: “The bicycle is a great product and an excellent means of transport for everyday life and leisure. In order to ensure that the cycling and e-bike boom continues, we want politicians to promote the use of our products and they do this best by promoting cycling infrastructure and seamless network of cycle paths. This is why we very much welcome the promise of the Federal Minister to stabilize the special programme Urban & Rural beyond 2023.”
Managing Director of VSF, Uwe Woell, pointed out the subject shortage of skilled manpower in the cycle industry. According to a retailer survey among BICO and VSF businesses, there is a demand gap of about 30 per cent, i.e. about 15,000 vacancies in the retail sector alone. “For the near future, we need easier ways of qualification, support for the conversion to modern, modular training and, on a broad scale, a comprehensive strategy to secure skilled manpower. A reasonable immigration policy facilitating the access of migrants to the German labour market could cushion a good part of our shortage,” explains Woell.
In a subsequent panel discussion Mathias Stein (SPD), Swantje Michaelsen (Alliance 90/The Greens), Berlins District Councillor Saskia Ellenbeck (Alliance 90/The Greens) and Dr Sandra Wolf (Riese und Müller) discussed the measures necessary to achieve a strong, cycle-mobile future.
The Parliamentary Evening was organised jointly by the three associations for the first time in order to provide as complete and varied an insight into industry, services and trade as possible. The Parliamentary Evening was held in the run-up to the vivavelo conference, which will take place on 22 and 23 September 2022 at the Langenbeck-Virchow House in Berlin.
Author: BVZF e.V.
Photo: Bernd Lammel