A recent study shows that last year sales of bicycles surpassed those of cars for the first time since World War II.
In 2011, more than 1,750,000 bicycles were sold in Italy, up 10% from 2010, compared to 1,748,143 vehicles sold, down 20% from 2010, reaching the lowest level since 1964. Italy’s postwar ‘economic miracle’ was supported by the ability of average families to buy the Fiat 500, followed in 1987 by the moment called ‘il sorpasso’ when the country’s economic output was bigger than that of the UK.
But the ‘sorpasso’ economic effect might have been caused by various factors, including the austerity measures, which were introduced by Mario Monti’s government. But besides the increasing petrol price it seems there is another reason for choosing bicycles over cars: the simple joy of cycling to and from work or for leisure purposes.
The report was published before the launch of the campaign called the Estates-General of the Bicycle and New Mobility, which is also supported by several other associations and environmental groups, which plan to find measures “capable of significantly improve the lives of everyone in Italy’s large cities.” But Italy isn’t the only country that has seen a fall in car sales; Germany, Spain and France have also been affected a fall in auto sales during the first eight months of this year.