Taking the BA programme forward in 2020
The Bicycle Association (BA) is the UK’s cycle industry trade asssociation, with 70+ member companies. Steve Garidis, the BA’s Executive Director, outlines the BA’s 2020 agenda and key priorities.
2020 is likely to prove a year of change for the UK cycling industry and also a year of opportunity. The implications of Brexit should become clear, and as they do, we’ll develop industry responses to make the most of any opportunities.
Meanwhile, our major programmes to support the UK cycle industry will help build resilience and efficiency ahead of any impacts:
- The full BA Market Data Service will go live during this quarter with up to 50% coverage of the overall UK market, progressing towards 70%+ over the course of the ensuing year. The service provides subscribing BA members with never-before available sales data on bikes, parts, accessories and services at a level of detail which will transform business decision-making.
- The BA Trade Network is now being rolled out, offering participating retailers a voice in our advocacy work, representation to Government, and services which lower costs and/or improve margins. The Network is being rolled out via participating BA member brands and distributors, supporting our members’ retailer networks.
- Our Technical Advice Service will continue to supply BA members with vital horizon-scanning, insight and advice on Brexit and everything this entails, as well as keeping members fully informed about legislative, regulatory and standards changes affecting the UK cycle business.
- We believe sustainability is becoming increasingly important for the UK cycling industry. The BA’s Leadership Group has asked us to make this a key focus in 2020 and as part of this we hope to launch in 2020 a new service for members around consolidated logistics.
The Bicycle Association also engages with national and regional Government, representing the industry. For 2020, advocacy focus areas include:
- With the recent election, the BA had a major win on one of our top advocacy priorities: The Conservatives pledged to extend Bikeability to every child in England. Bikeability is the modern version of Cycling Proficiency, and training is currently available to only around half of the nation’s children. This new committment should mean every child in England getting a positive cycling experience before they leave primary school. We’ll continue to engage with officials to ensure this pledge is realised.
- We will continue our campaign to push Government to recognise the huge potential of ebikes as low-emission transport – in particular by providing national and/or regional purchase incentives / grants for e-bikes as they already do for e-cargo bikes and electric cars / vans.
- We will start to make the case for reducing or eliminating VAT on bikes and bike servicing in the UK. We’ll start with the latter as part of our Trade Network representation and pursue the former as part of our work on post-Brexit opportunities, which will also include looking at tariffs and other non-tariff trade barriers post-Brexit.
- Linked to Brexit we will also be taking our UK Bike Valley concept and turning it into a full pitch to Government. A UK Bike Valley is our vision for collaborative, Government-supported boosting of the cycle industry’s UK-based innovation, design, research, testing, assembly and manufacture, adding even more value to the UK economy.
- Through the work we plan on sustainability we will also look to further our ‘industrial case’ for cycling by showing how our industry will play a vital role in tackling climate change.
- Through our participation in the Walking & Cycling Alliance with other key cycling organisations, we will continue to advocate for serious funding for cycling infrastructure and a long-term cycling investment strategy to match that of road and rail.
- There are several other projects and initiatives in our programme including continued work on a cycle parking standard, supporting the e-cargo bike grant scheme, developing cycle security initiatives, cycling industry qualifications and more…
We wish all in the cycle industry a successful 2020, thank our members especially for their support and engagement, and invite all in the UK cycle industry who are not yet on board to join the Bicycle Association.