Among the participants were representatives of the cycle industry as well as politics, such as the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport Elke Zimmer, Ministerial Councillor Dr Markus Decker from the Ministry of Economics as well as Ludwigsburg’s Member of the Landtag Silke Gericke (Greens).
Hermino Katzenstein, Member of the Landtag (Greens) and initiator of the “Parliamentary Circle on Cycling” emphasized during his welcome speech: “Bicycles play an important role in Baden-Wuerttemberg, not only ecologically but also economically. Founder and Managing Director Dirk Zedler took his company as an example for the fact that the cycle industry is much more than the obvious sale and repair of bicycles and e-bikes in the trade. In addition, he claimed: “The usability of bicycles must be increased to make sure that the Covid sales rush is not followed by a hangover.” Burkhard Stork, Managing Director of the German Bicycle Industry Association (ZIV), stated with regard to the bicycle as an economic engine in Baden-Wuerttemberg: “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!" In an open discussion, seven representatives from the cycle industry openly discussed with eight representatives from politics (Greens and CDU) topics, such as the growth of the industry in recent years and its effects, the lack of skilled workers in the industry, the adaptation of the bicycle infrastructure to the conditions, the difficult economic situation, and the transformation of transportation.
During the discussion 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 two-metre rule in forests, with which Baden-Wuerttemberg maintains an unnecessary exceptional regulation. According to the rule, cycling in the forests in the south-west of Germany is only allowed on paths wider than two metres.
- Access of speed pedelecs on cycle paths, at least out of town.