The BA hosted a strong industry participation in the UK’s first cycle industry census, which over the summer collected responses from companies from all sectors of the industry.
The BA estimates that the responses cover between 30% and 65% of the entire UK cycling market in terms of turnover, which means that probably over £ 1bn of turnover is accounted for in the census results. A recent BA report indicated that in 2020 the cycling industry as a whole is valued at around. £ 2.3 billion.
Steve Garidis, Executive Director of BA, said: “It is vital for us as a professional body in the UK cycling industry to know the priorities and capabilities of our sector. We will pass this information on to the government in our advocacy work and also use it to help develop the BA work program.
“This is why such an impressive response rate, covering a large percentage of sales for the entire industry, is so important. It makes it clear that BA’s advocacy priorities are aligned with what the industry wants: to develop everyday cycling, capitalize on the growth potential of e-bikes, and emphasize to national and local governments that there is a strong commercial and economic argument. to invest in the bicycle supply.
The main results of the 2021 census include:
– Industry growth priorities were clearly identified as introducing cycling to newcomers and ‘everyday’ cycling – supported by e-bikes as priority growth technology
– The deployment of safe cycling infrastructure is, unsurprisingly, confirmed as the key government action needed to develop cycling. Significantly, besides national lobbying through the BA, around two-thirds of industry participants indicated that they were ready to engage in local or regional advocacy, which could be a powerful force for economically advocate for cycling and investment in safe infrastructure to local decision-makers. The BA is working to develop a “local economic case for cycling” to support this work
– It is also striking how, across the cycling industry as a whole, companies are engaging in ‘above and beyond’ work to encourage cycling in their communities – with more than half retailers making special arrangements for key workers or donating to local cycling events; and many reaching out with free rides, classes or other activities.
The industry is eager to help advocate for investment in cycling. The 2021 census indicates that just under two-thirds of all who responded are likely or very likely, given the right support material, to try to influence local decision-makers. The BA is working on tools to help the industry be as effective as possible in defending this issue, locally, regionally and nationally.
The census was extensive and also covered many more detailed aspects of the structure of the industry. He also explored industry perspectives on issues such as sustainability / recycling, recruitment and diversity in the industry, the issue of retail theft and issues for retailers and others of batteries. end-of-life e-bikes and their proper disposal. Many of these more detailed findings will inform BA’s initiatives to address particular problems. For example:
– More than half of the cycle industry companies that responded had worked in the past 12 months to reduce packaging or improve recycling
– Around a third of retailers have suffered major theft in the past five years, with an average theft value reported at almost £ 36,000 per incident
– Almost all respondents identified e-bikes as the technology with the best potential to develop cycling over the next three years. Just under a third of those surveyed also cited family freight cycles as an area with high growth potential
– About half of all retailers had end-of-life e-bike batteries awaiting proper disposal
– Asked about sales to the EU, 13% of retailers replied that they did but no longer do
– Only approx. 20% of census respondents currently use electric scooters, but approx. 35% of those not currently involved would reconsider whether they should be legalized
– Industry still has a gender imbalance, with approx. 80% of staff in contact with customers, 92% of workshop staff and 60% of administrative staff stated that they identified themselves as men
– Businesses of all sizes would welcome efforts to professionalize the image of the industry in recruitment advertising, to help recruit and retain staff
Peter Eland, BA Technical Director, led the management of the census process with BA’s specialist partner, Sports Marketing Surveys (SMS). He said, “I would like to thank all of the industry participants who answered what was a fairly long and detailed set of census questions. Your time is greatly appreciated, and all participants who chose to view the results have now received the full census results.
“Thank you also to the SMS colleagues whose expertly crafted online census and analysis of the results made the process very smooth. As a trusted third party, they kept all individual responses completely confidential and anonymous, and only communicated the aggregated results to the BA. The Census will be back in the years to come to capture the latest facts and perspectives from our ever-changing industry – watch out for this and please participate! “