COVID-19 and the UK cycle industry – BA position statement

March 18, 2020

Last updated: 23 March 2020.

We fully endorse, and will reinforce through all our communications, Government guidance about responsible cycling and the need to maintain social distancing. The BA joins all other major UK cycling organisations in forcefully urging cyclists to avoid group rides and to maintain at least 2m distance between riders at all times.

We will continue to stress the role that responsible, socially-distanced cycling can play in maintaining health and well-being for those otherwise largely confined indoors.

The UK’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jenny Harries, said at the Downing Street briefing of 20th March: “…keeping two metres apart, off for a bike ride together or something, that is absolutely fine. And in many ways, we would encourage that.”

The BA is encouraged that the benefits of riding are recognised and will urge Government to undertake the most careful possible consideration before implementing any additional control measures which might impact people’s access to responsible leisure cycling.

The BA will continue to make the case to Government that bicycle repair shops should be permitted to remain open as long as possible, to ensure that transport for essential workers and last mile deliveries is maintained.

The BA supports initiatives already put in place by many local bike shops to offer NHS staff in their communities free or discounted cycle repairs and services.

For NHS workers and other essential staff who do not have access to a car but need transport between home and workplace, cycling is a lower-risk, more convenient and more reliable alternative to using public transport. As more and more public transport services are reduced or cancelled, cycling’s role for journeys too long to walk becomes ever more important to maintain the resilience of the transport network.

Cycling is also valuable for anyone experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 to continue to make essential trips.