Share article:
Share article:

Fewer people cycling to work, longer distances covered

Credit: SNCB

The number of employees cycling to work in Belgium has dropped by a third since before the coronavirus crisis. However, the distances covered by bicycle are longer.

Since 2019, the number of employees biking to work dropped by around 7% to 14% this year, after a clear drop was already reported in 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

The figures come from human resources company SD Worx and are based on wage calculations of employees and their bicycle allowances.

“The most significant decrease was found among white-collar workers, who often have to work from home because of the crisis,” said Veerle Michiels, SD Worx mobility expert.

The report stated that as the average distance covered per cyclist has increased in the same period, those who live further away from their place of employment continued to cycle to work in 2021.

However, SD Worx stressed that because the data collected concerns only people who receive a bicycle allowance, the total number of cycling commuters is probably much higher.

Related News


Normally, a drop in the number of cycling commuters is seen in the winter, but whether the current decline will continue at the end of the year may also depend on the rules employers will impose regarding teleworking, according to Michiels.

“If the weather is favourable, people may cycle shorter distances rather than take public transport. How companies and employees will implement the combination of homework and a return to the office will also play a role. To paint the full picture, we will have to wait for the autumn,” she explained.

More women received a bicycle allowance than men, mainly because they are more represented in the care sector, which is obliged to offer employees a bicycle allowance. However, they receive on average a lower bicycle allowance than men.

The median amount in annual allowances per cyclist rose from €73.92 in 2019 to €91.20 in 2020 but decreased again to €76.80 during the first eight months of 2021.

This allowance, meant to encourage employees to improve their health and cycle to work rather than go by car, is a voluntary incentive unless it has been agreed by the sector, such as in the care industry. Most often, the price of the allowance is set by the employer itself.

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...