by Matt Ayres
When it comes to City bankers, cycling is officially the new golf, according to research on the UK's financial district.
A survey conducted by Saxo Bank found that cycling is the favourite sport for those earning more than £150,000 a year. The study found that City bankers are increasingly spending more of their earnings on high-end carbon fibre bikes, costing as much as £12,000.
The London School of Economics (LSE) estimates that cycling is worth around £2.9 billion to economy. The popularity of cycling has taken off in the UK since the success of Team GB's cyclists at the 2012 Olympics and Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris' Froome's success at the Tour de France. Yorkshire in particular got a big sense of cycling-fever when it hosted the first three stages of the Tour de France in 2014.
Despite the sport's growing popularity, the research suggests that City workers don't feel safe cycling on London's roads; three quarters of those surveyed said they didn't feel safe on the capital's roads.
“The set up in London is at least 20 years behind a place like Copenhagen in Denmark,” said Matteo Cassina, chief executive of Saxo Bank Capital Markets. “The set up in London is at least 20 years behind Copenhagen and it could take at least a generation to change that.”
In January, Mayor of London Boris Johnson approved the construction of a cycling "superhighway" across the City, as part of a wider £900m investment project to improve safety for cyclists in London.