BikeBiz November 2021

Page 15


BA’s Industry Census 2021 An estimated £1 billion turnover has been covered in this year’s Census


he Bicycle Association (BA) has welcomed strong industry participation in the first ever UK Cycle Industry Census, which over the summer collected responses from companies across all sectors of the industry. The BA estimates that the responses cover between 30% and 65% of the whole UK cycling market by turnover, meaning that probably over £1 billion worth of business is counted in the Census results. A recent BA report indicated that in 2020, the cycle industry as a whole was valued at ca. £2.3 billion. Steve Garidis, BA executive director, said: “It is vital for us, as the industry trade body for the UK cycle industry, to learn about the priorities and capabilities of our sector. We’ll take this information to Government in our advocacy work, and also use it to help develop the BA’s work programme. “That’s why such an impressive response rate, covering a large percentage of the whole industry’s turnover, is so important. It provides clarity that the BA’s advocacy priorities are in tune with what the industry wants: to grow everyday cycling, to capitalise on e-bikes’ potential for growth, and to stress to national and local Government that there is a powerful business and economic case for investing in cycling provision.”

Headline findings from the Census include: • The industry priorities for growth were clearly identified as introducing newcomers to cycling, and ‘everyday’ cycling – supported by e-bikes as the priority growth technology • Rolling out safe cycling infrastructure is, unsurprisingly, confirmed as the key Government action needed to grow cycling. Significantly, as well as national lobbying through the BA, around two thirds of industry participants indicated readiness to engage in local or regional advocacy – potentially representing a powerful force to put the economic case for cycling and safe infrastructure investment to local decisionmakers. The BA is working to develop a ‘local economic case for cycling’ to support this work • It is also striking how, across the cycle industry, companies are engaging in ‘above and beyond’ work to encourage cycling in their communities – with well over half of retailers making special provision for key workers or

donating to local cycling activities, and many reaching out with free rides, classes or other activities The Census was wide-ranging, and also covered many more detailed aspects of industry structure. It also explored industry views on matters such as sustainability/recycling, recruitment and diversity in the industry, the issue of thefts from retailers, and the issues for retailers and others of endof-life e-bike batteries and their proper disposal. These detailed findings will inform BA initiatives to address particular issues. For example: • Over half of the cycle industry businesses who responded had worked in the last 12 months to reduce packaging or improve recycling • Around a third of retailers had experienced a significant theft over the last five years, with the average value of theft reported as almost £36,000 per incident • Almost all respondents identified e-bikes as the technology with the best potential to grow cycling over the next three years. Just under a third of respondents also named family cargo cycles as an area with strong potential for growth • Around half of all retailers had end-of-life e-bike batteries in store awaiting proper disposal • Asked about sales to the EU, 13% of retailers said they used to but no longer do so • Only ca. 20% of Census participants deal at all with e-scooters now, but ca. 35% of those not currently involved would reconsider if they were to be legalised • The industry still seems male-dominated, with ca. 80% of customer facing staff, 92% of workshop staff and 60% of administrative staff reported as identifying as male • Companies of all sizes would welcome efforts to professionalise the image of the industry in recruitment publicity, to help recruit and retain staff n

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