Irish Bicycle Business Associations Launches Report on Cycle to Work Scheme. The Irish Bicycle Business Association (IBBA) today launched its first report on the Cycle to Work scheme which was introduced in 2009. The report underlines the many successes of the scheme, with more people than ever now cycling to work. In addition to the environmental and health benefits of this initiative, significant spin offs for domestic tourism, charitable fundraising, job creation and various other economic benefits were highlighted and quantified in the report. The IBBA was set up this year and represents the key stakeholders in the bicycle industry, which is worth over €100m per annum.

David Walsh of the IBBA said, “The most important aim of the Cycle to Work scheme was to encourage people to leave their cars behind and cycle to work. With 90,000 bicycles purchased in the last two years through the scheme, we can safely say that this has happened.”

Key Findings

  • 90,000 bikes have been purchased through the Cycle to Work scheme since 2009, generating an estimated €138.68 million in direct and indirect sales

  • 50 new bicycle shops across Ireland have been established since the launch of the Cycle to Work Scheme

  • An estimated 767 jobs have been preserved or created in Ireland as a result of the Cycle to Work Scheme.



  • Cycling Ireland membership numbers up to 10,000 from 5,000 in 2008

  • Cycling has had a positive effect on physical health and has contributed to a more eco friendly environment

  • Padraig Ryan, Transport co-ordinator for Temple Street Children’s’ University Hospital, a company that participates in the Cycle to Work scheme said; “Since 2009 we have seen a 450% increase in the number of staff cycling to work, this has coincided with a 44% reduction in the number of staff driving. This could not have been achieved without the Cycle to Work scheme; it has made Children’s University Hospital a more accessible place for all concerned.”


Health Benefits

  • Regular cyclists take on average one less sick day per year according to a study by the London School of Economics. It is estimated that the Cycle to Work scheme has saved the economy €15.3 million a year in absenteeism

  • A study of 9,000 UK civil servants found that cycling 25 miles a week halves the risk of fatal and non fatal heart disease



  • 70% of charities in Ireland use cycling events to fundraise, with a 50% increase in number of participants year on year (2Wheels 2011)

  • In 2011, to date, €2.3 million has been raised for charity through cycling events



  • There has been an estimated 50% increase (from 350 to 528) of cycling tours and events currently registered throughout the country since 2009; resulting in significant benefits to local tourism

  • Ring of Kerry cycle has increased its numbers by 66% since 2009, bringing an estimated €770,000 into the local economy with average spend of €140 per participant

Commenting on the report, Kevin Hillier, Co-owner of 2Wheels Cycles bike shop in Dublin said “The interest in cycling in Ireland has grown dramatically, both as a means transport and leisure. Our research showed that 70% of charities use organized cycles as a means of raising funds.”

Michael Carey, Chairman of the Soul of Haiti and former Chairman of Jacob Fruitfield Food Group said, "The number of cyclists in Ireland has grown significantly in recent years and there is a massive opportunity for charities to capitalist on this for fundraising. The Cycle4Haiti is a perfect example this. It is the single largest fundraising activity for the Soul of Haiti Foundation and continues to grow year on year".

Recommendations of the IBBA Report

  • IBBA members have suggested allowing employees to avail of the Cycle to Work scheme and purchase a new bicycle every three years rather than every five years as is currently the case

  • Employees who have had their bike stolen and who have reported the theft to the Gardaí may get a new bike without having to wait five years

  • Clarify the eligibility of child seats and trailers for bicycles through the Cycle to Work scheme as many employees combine the school run trip with their commute

  • Allow insurance to be purchased under the new scheme

  • IBBA supports the National Cycle Policy Framework and Smarter Travel targets and recommends that funding for cycling is increased to the per capita levels of other European countries