The Italian government has boosted bike sales in the country with a series of incentives, according to this report on Bike Europe.
Following rumours last month, Italy’s Ministry for the Environment has confirmed that is offering a sweetener to prospective cycle consumers of up to 30 per cent off the retail price of a bicycle or electric bike. The reduction is capped at 700 euros for a bike costing a maximum of 2,330 euros and is to be available throughout 2009.
The government has set aside 8.75 million euros to encourage bicycle sales.
The reports comes a few days after what many in the cycling trade have regarded as a disappointing UK budget for the cycling industry – which has focused on assisting the ailing car trade.
Italy’s bicycle and motorbike bicycle trade body – ANCMA – said: “The decision of the Italian government to support cycling with incentives is something really new in Europe,” said the body’s spokesman Piero Nigrelli.
“Not only is this fantastic but more important is the fact that the incentives have been given based on the fact that the government wants to give a real push for the improvement of the air quality in particular in large urban areas.”
Whether the scheme will mirror the UK’s Cycle2Work scheme, which relies on the participation of employers, is currently unclear.