Advocacy

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The BA's advocacy programme
How the industry, powered by Investors in Cycling, works together to grow the market and get more people cycling

There are over 1,000 supporters of the advocacy work of the Bicycle Association, from the largest global brands to the smallest local retailers. They all play a vital role as Investors in Cycling - helping the industry shape a powerful advocacy message for public investment, nationally and locally, to get more people cycling.

Investors in cycling

Gearing up the local bicycle economy – starting in London

With £2 billion now committed to support cycling and walking in the Government’s Gear Change policy (see below), the BA’s focus is on delivering cycling investment at a local level. The BA is now working to bring together data, partners and policy makers to increase cycling investment on the ground, in what we call “The local economic case for cycling”.

Our first focus region, London, was mobilised in late 2021 and we aim to act locally across the UK in the next three years.

STEP 1: Commissioning research

The first step was to use our Market Data Service to inform research on the benefits of cycling investment to Greater London. The Bicycle Association commissioned a report from the independent research group Transport for Quality of Life which used this unique local and regional breakdown capabilities of the Market Data Service dataset to demonstrate that investing in cycling to the extent necessary to achieve London’s net zero carbon target would create:

a 25,000 jobs dividend, equating to almost 10% of the Mayor’s 2030 green jobs target, which will benefit the most disadvantaged people in London
an almost £5 billion economic impact; and
a nearly threefold increase in sales of cycling goods and services, breathing life into our high streets and having a positive impact in communities

The full report and evidence case can be downloaded below:

October 2021

The Economic Benefits of local cycling investment: Greater London Case Study

Report for the Bicycle Association by Lisa Hopkinson, Transport for Quality of Life

STEP 2: Joining with local advocacy partners

These findings are eye-opening, and highly effective in putting the case for cycling investments. The most efficient way to put them to local decision-makers and political representatives is to team up with a local advocacy partner. For the launch region, London, we are delighted to be working with the very well-established and well-connected London Cycling Campaign:

Our advocacy partner

London Cycling Campaign

The Bicycle Association is working with local advocacy group, the London Cycling Campaign, to highlight the economic, employment and environmental benefits of growing the bicycle economy to leaders and decision makers across the city.

STEP 3: Put the case to decision-makers

Under the headline:

Gearing up the local bicycle economy

Hashtag: #bicycleeconomy
Tweet

we and our partners at LCC will be identifying and targeting decision-makers – and also supplying evidenced arguments and collateral for other cycle advocates who are working to build the case for public investment to grow cycling – be that at city, borough or even street level. The “elevator pitch” is as follows:

Gearing up the local bicycle economy in London

Hitting London’s net zero 2030 target will involve a large increase in cycling
This increase will generate a massive 25,000 new green jobs in London’s “bicycle economy”
£4.8 billion each year in extra economic value will also be generated – £500 per Londoner
This is a major jobs and economic dividend on the investment in cycling which London will have to make anyway
This is an unmissable opportunity to create new career opportunities for disadvantaged Londoners, help revitalise London’s high streets and support a “Just Transition”

An early political impact

Will Norman, the Mayor of London’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner, has already Tweeted with a link to our report:

STEP 4: Use the case to win specific investments

As our advocacy partners identify particular projects they’ll be able to use our data to bolster their case, help overcome local opposition and sway decisions towards bold infrastructure investment to grow cycling. We’ll soon expand this section with case studies.

STEP 5: Roll out to other cities and regions.

We aim to bring this powerful logic for change to every region in the UK, by bringing more organisations into the Investors in Cycling community, and by leveraging the active engagement of local Investor companies, to support this roll-out and deliver market growth nationwide.

Support this work as an Investor in Cycling

If you’re a company in the UK cycle industry, you can join thousands of your peers as Investors in Cycling to support the industry’s advocacy work, both in resources and through your active engagement.

The national economic case for cycling – an argument won?

Policy makers care deeply about economic contribution and jobs, so at the heart of the BA’s advocacy work has for several years been what we call the “economic case for cycling”. As the industry association, the BA is uniquely placed to make this case.

Evidence of the UK cycle industry’s economic contribution is essential for our credibility. That’s one of the main reasons we developed the BA Market Data Service to gather superbly accurate and detailed sales data for the UK.

A second pillar of evidence was commissioned in 2017 by the BA from respected consultancy Transport for the Quality of Life. They delivered a foundational piece of research to quantify the economic contribution of our industry. They showed this to be at least £5.4 billion/year, supporting 64,000 jobs – making cycling bigger than the steel industry – and this was widely picked up by national and specialist media. Download the report here.

The “economic case”, together with our “trusted advisor” approach (see “Principles” below) have been remarkably successful, and we now have access to and close relationships with both politicians and officials at the highest levels of Government, and especially within the Department for Transport.

A key success came with the publication of Gear Change in July 2020 – in which the Government committed not only to spending £2 bn on cycling (largely for infrastructure) but also to implementing many of the items for which the BA has consistently advocated: a national e-bike incentive scheme, support for cargo bikes, action on cycle theft and more.

Gear Change cover
July 2020 – download here

Gear Change – a bold vision for cycling and walking

Mission and principles

Our advocacy mission

The BA works to a clear, focused strategy based around three key ‘pillars’:

  • Securing a strong, united and influential industry
  • Giving every child the opportunity to cycle
  • Making cycling an everyday choice.

Every BA activity is driven by one or more these pillars, and to ensure our focus is on activities with member benefit, all activity must also be unique (something the industry can deliver collectively which others advocating for cycling cannot) and measurable. It must also either directly drive members’ businesses and profits, or have long-term strategic value.

Partners

The BA was instrumental in the formation of the Walking and Cycling Alliance, where we co-ordinate advocacy work with British Cycling, Cycling UK, Sustrans, Living Streets and The Ramblers. The BA also works with many more cycling, Governmental and other organisations.

Internationally, the BA is a long-standing member of the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) and is a founding member of Cycling Industries Europe (CIE). Through CONEBI we are also represented at the World Bicycle Industries Association (WBIA).

Principles

Our aim: to grow cycling
This will get more people on bikes. Everyday cycling trips – for ‘transport’- is the growth segment.

Our representation: the whole UK cycle industry
We speak with one voice. We are a non-profit group, with no commercial interests.

Our target: Westminster and Whitehall
We are not a consumer-facing organisation. We don’t have the large financial resources necessary to promote cycling to the general public.

Our focus: is on issues that only the BA can address.
We have partnerships with other groups – see below – and work closely with them. We don’t try to replicate the work that they do already.

Our issues: the BA can advocate only for issues on which our members all agree.
But we can inform, advise and facilitate discussion on a wide range of topics.

Our stance: the BA makes well-reasoned proposals as advocates
We do not lobby or seek or take funds from government or third parties or any commercial interests.

Our reputation: we aim to be objective, rigorous – that’s why reliable market data is key – and to be a critical and trusted adviser of government.

Support this work as an Investor in Cycling

If you’re a company in the UK cycle industry, you can join thousands of your peers as Investors in Cycling to support the industry’s advocacy work, both in resources and through your active engagement.

Working areas and policies

Click any heading to read more about the BA’s advocacy work and policy positions:

Support this work as an Investor in Cycling

If you’re a company in the UK cycle industry, you can join thousands of your peers as Investors in Cycling to support the industry’s advocacy work, both in resources and through your active engagement.

Our influence

Video from the Minister of State for Transport

The BA’s reach goes right to the top of Government. We were delighted that the Minister of State for Transport, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, sent this video message to our BA Members’ Conference in 2020, shortly after announcing a £2 billion committment to active travel:

Advocacy timeline

October 27, 2021

October 2021

RESULT: Despite intense public finances pressures, Budget & Spending Review announcements confirm “Gear Change” £2 billion spending on cycle infrastructure is still on track – some allocated via regional transport funding packages.

October 27, 2021
August 3, 2021

August 2021

RESULT: New £400k fund for businesses to purchase e-cargo cycles is announced, covering up to 40% of the cost per cycle

August 3, 2021
April 1, 2021

April 2021

RESULT: Government announces doubling of Bikeability funding, every child to be offered cycle training. BA had engaged one-on-one with the Minister ahead of this committment being made in the 2020 Conservative election manifesto.

April 1, 2021
December 1, 2020

December 2020

BA liaises with DIT and DfT and informs members on Brexit developements, ADD, 25% USA tariffs. RESULT: BA members receive earliest possible info and analysis as Brexit transition end approaches

BA cycle security proposals to be taken forward by police cycle crime lead RESULT: Voluntary and vendor-neutral approach agreed

BA engages further with DfT and the devolved administrations on potential future e-bike and e-cargo bike incentive schemes, and establishes that these will be worth at least £11m in the next 12 months

December 1, 2020
November 1, 2020

November 2020

Minister and senior officials speak at BA Conference. BA engages with DfT ahead of spending review, with proposals for e-bikes and e-cargo, supported by Market Data Service

November 1, 2020
October 1, 2020

October 2020

BA launches industry sustainability initiative and publishes commissioned research.

October 1, 2020
September 1, 2020

September 2020

BA lobbies to secure cycle shops essential status ahead of possible future lockdowns in England and Wales. RESULT: Assurances received and open status maintained.
Plus: Scotland announces £500m over 5 years for cycling & walking, BA mediates Cycle to Work discussions, work starts on cycle parking standard

September 1, 2020
August 1, 2020

August 2020


BA has been working for over a year on cycle parking and security. RESULT: Funding secured via CRWG for UK cycle parking standard development
BA reacts to correct media mis-reporting of Simon Cowell’s injuries after an e-motorbike incident (not an e-bike) RESULT: highest traffic ever on BA website!

August 1, 2020
July 1, 2020

July 2020

RESULT: Government announces “Gear Change” policy document with £2 billion over four years for infrastructure (with quality standards), e-bike incentive commitments and more
Fix Your Bike voucher scheme releases first batch, BA provides evidence to Commons e-scooter enquiry, BA submits response to DfT’s Future of Transport Regulatory Review

July 1, 2020
June 1, 2020

June 2020

BA Market Data Service goes fully live. DfT straight away requests retailer servicing data to support Fix Your Bike scheme RESULT: BA influence immediately boosted by data availability

June 1, 2020
May 1, 2020

May 2020

RESULT: Government announces £250m emergency active travel fund for pop-up infrastructure

RESULT: Government announces £25m Fix Your Bike repair voucher scheme

May 1, 2020
April 1, 2020

April 2020

Package of proposals: BA developed and proposed to Govt a package of measures to support COVID use of bikes for transport inc. pop-up lanes, e-bike incentives, VAT, repair vouchers

April 1, 2020
March 1, 2020

March 2020

Lockdown: BA immediately lobbied for essential status. RESULT: Government guidance ensures bikes shops can stay open, cycling for exercise encouraged even under strict lockdown. Enabled an extra £0.5 billion boom in cycling this year.

Supporting open shops: BA launched high traffic COVID Hub on website with industry info, plus offered free legal/HR support, developed Open Bike Shops finder with ACT and supported Bikes4KeyWorkers

Pop-up infrastructure: BA lobbied hard with WACA allies to secure Government support.

March 1, 2020
February 1, 2020

February 2020

BA had been in contact with Northern Ireland officials for some years about the status of e- bikes in that territory. RESULT: E-bikes are to made legal in Northen Ireland

E-scooters: BA worked with numerous stakeholders to develop a ‘sensible’ UK specification proposal for e-scooters to ‘play well’ with bikes and e-bike

February 1, 2020
January 1, 2020

January 2020

Bikeability: Direct BA lobbying at Ministerial level had secured an election manifesto commitment to expand the Bikeability scheme
RESULT: DfT announces Bikeability roll-out cycle training to all children worth £80-100m in this Parliament

New Minister: BA secured an early meeting to explain industry priorities after the post-election re-shuffle saw a new Transport Minister come into post

January 1, 2020

Support this work as an Investor in Cycling

If you’re a company in the UK cycle industry, you can join thousands of your peers as Investors in Cycling to support the industry’s advocacy work, both in resources and through your active engagement.