PEDAL power is worth more than half a billion pounds to the Scottish economy, a report shows. An economic impact report published today by Cycling Scotland, a national organisation that promotes the activity, found two-wheeled travel made a total economic contribution of between £596 million and £774m.

It is also said to generate a gross value added (GVA) contribution of £321m to £367m per year.

The registered charity described the numbers – calculated by Transform Consulting and based on cycling’s boost to manufacturing, tourism and retail – as “conservative”, adding that the “massive indirect benefits” related to health, the environment, and investment in infrastructure have not been incorporated.

Keith Irving, chief executive of Cycling Scotland, said: “Cycling is great for our health, environment and transport network. It also provides major direct economic benefits to people in Scotland.

“These figures may surprise some, but the cycling boom in Scotland means that more adults are now active riding bikes than playing football.

“With increased investment by Scottish Government in cycling and active travel, and increased work by cycling delivery organisations to get even more people cycling, we can expect the economic benefits from the cycling sector to grow even further in the future.”

Team Scotland’s elite cyclists scooped two golds, two silver medals and one bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Skye’s Danny MacAskill is internationally renowned for his cycle stunt skills, which have won him a Twitter following of more than 95,000 people.

More than 20,000 spectators turned out to watch last year’s Fort William Mountain Bike World Cup and Buff 4X Pro Tour.

The latest Scottish Household Report, published late last year, found more people had got on their bikes in the previous four weeks than played football.

However, at 11 per cent, the percentage of Scots making journeys of at least 30 minutes by bike saw a dip of one per cent on the previous year.

Craig Burn, chief executive of Scottish Cycling, said: “There has been a huge growth in interest in competitive cycling and cycling events in recent years.

“Scottish Cycling has been helping encourage that through programmes and events to get more people cycling.”

In October, Livingston’s Shand Cycles, which makes hand-built bikes, announced it had been acquired by metals giant Liberty House Group for an undisclosed sum.

Meanwhile, Endura, a specialist clothing and accessory producer based in the same West Lothian town, which supplied kit for MacAskill’s trip to Mount Kilimanjaro, says it plans “rapid” international growth.

The company exports 60 per cent of its products and founder Jim McFarlane said: “Being a Scottish firm is a unique selling point because most of our buyers have a positive image of Scotland and associate it with high-quality, dependable products and as having character.

“We manufacture an increasing percentage of our range at our own facility in Livingston and are looking to continue our rapid growth internationally across Europe, North America and Asia.”