lex Bowden March 28 2017
Cycling is worth £2bn a year to the UK economy, according to a new report commissioned by the national body representing the bicycle industry. The Bicycle Association (BA) has however warned that a reduction in bicycle use could be leading to a shrinking market.
“We need to get more people cycling,” said BA operations director Steve Garidis, speaking to BikeBiz, and added that “hard decisions” could be in store.
The report, titled ‘Economic value of the bicycle industry and cycling’ was produced for the BA by data consultancy SQW using government statistics, consumer trends, travel data and surveys.
It points to a fall in the number of children with access to bikes and an over-reliance on enthusiasts as being weaknesses in the market.
According to figures from HMRC, bicycle imports fell sharply in 2016.
Brexit also looms large and Evans Cycles has warned that while currency hedging offset some of the potential price rise caused by the fall in sterling against the dollar in the aftermath the vote, future increases are inevitable.
“There is a compelling case for the industry to pull together to get more people to start cycling,” said Garidis.
Later this year the BA plans to launch the Bicycle Industry Fund which will be running “Start Cycling” promotions. It has also called for a VAT exemption on children’s bikes
“We will be calling for all cycle industry businesses to participate in this fund,” said Garidis. “The aim will be to raise £500,000 per year.”