News Press Release

BA puts cycle industry on the political agenda with Manifesto launch in House of Commons

November 23, 2023

The Bicycle Association, with support from the Investors in Cycling community, is proud to announce the launch of the BA Cycle Industry Manifesto.

Developed through an extensive industry-wide consultation process over Summer 2023, the Manifesto brings together cycle industry asks of Government ahead of the next general election – perfectly timed as policy teams in the main political parties are developing their own manifestos and action plans for the next Government.

Developed with the input of well over 100 BA members and Investors in Cycling, the Manifesto focuses on Government actions to support industry growth. This approach, focusing on jobs and economic growth potential, has already opened doors for the BA’s advocacy work following its high-profile launch at the House of Commons in mid-November.

Read or download the UK Cycle Industry Manifesto:

Download the Manifesto PDF here or if you prefer to read the Manifesto as single pages rather than as double-page spreads, please just download this version of the PDF.

The Manifesto notes the cycle industry’s full support for sustained, substantial investment in safe cycle infrastructure and other measures to promote cycling – and the benefits which that would deliver – but its key message is that alongside “cycling” (the activity) there is also a vigorous UK cycle industry providing jobs, economic benefit and growth potential. That’s something which can and will attract support from influential audiences who might not even consider cycling as within their remit.

House of Commons launch event for MPs

The BA’s Cycle Industry Manifesto was launched to Members of Parliament, Lords and other parliamentarians at a high-profile event in mid November, kindly hosted in the House of Commons by Selaine Saxby MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW).

The BA was delighted to be one of the very first organisations to hear from the newly appointed Department of Transport Minister with responsibility for the active travel portfolio, Guy Opperman MP, whose role had been decided just hours before in the recent reshuffle. His Labour Shadow, Simon Lightwood MP, also addressed the event, warmly welcoming the industry’s engagement.

The Manifesto was also welcomed by the other co-chair of the APPGCW, Fabian Hamilton MP, as well as influential members of the Commons Transport Select Committee.

Over thirty other MPs and significant members of the House of Lords were briefed in just a couple of hours on the £7.5bn value that the cycle industry generates for the UK economy, and the 64,000 jobs it supports.

Three “quick win policies” from the Manifesto, selected for simplicity of message and to target a wide range of MP interests, were highlighted at the launch:

  • A national UK e-bike subsidy scheme
  • Zero VAT on children’s cycles
  • Fund UK cycle industry innovation to grow jobs

Present to back up these asks and to tell MPs first hand about the jobs and growth potential of the UK cycle industry were BA members including Brompton, Frog, Halfords and Trek, as well as innovation funders, university science and research partners, influential think tanks, and government advisors and officials.

In their own speeches at the launch, the BA’s Phillip Darnton OBE and Steve Garidis thanked members of the BA and Investors in Cycling community for writing in large numbers to their constituency MPs to encourage them to attend – a significant factor in driving such strong, enthusiastic, cross party participation. Particular thanks were also expressed to Tern Bicycles and Raleigh UK for providing e-cargo cycles for a raffle to enable two winning MPs to offer them on loan to local constituents, charities or businesses, and to public affairs agency Tendo who supported the BA in delivering this Parliamentary event.

Next steps: embedding the industry’s asks into policy

The BA is already following up offers of support from MPs, Lords, special advisors and other parliamentarians who attended the event or who offered to make further introductions to colleagues.

Momentum from the Manifesto launch event will be sustained into the new year, to the General Election and beyond with a comprehensive public affairs programme for which we’ll again be asking for the industry’s support, including:

  • Working with supportive MPs to influence their party policies and manifestos, and to link us directly to the people developing policies for post-election Government
  • Using MP letters, surveys, parliamentary questions and debates to keep up the pressure
  • Inviting MPs to visit cycle industry businesses in their constituency to see first hand the jobs and wider community benefits our industry delivers
  • Working with the industry to help MPs and policymakers experience for themselves how e-bikes and e-cargobikes can be transformative both for transport and for industry growth.