Proposed changes to Cycling UK membership: FAQ
Proposed changes to Cycling UK membership: FAQ
Cycling UK has exciting plans to do even more to campaign for safer roads, open up new routes and get many more people cycling all over the UK. Our valued members are at the heart of the organisation in supporting our campaigns, amplifying our voice and running groups and rides. It is thanks to members and your membership fees that we can continue to fund the majority of our work.
To ensure that we can continue to help secure a better future for cycling, we are proposing some changes to membership from 1 November 2020. These changes will be voted on at this year’s AGM in September (voting papers are included with the August/September issue of Cycle magazine).
Some frequently asked questions are below with relevant links to further information. Our Membership Changes page has more detail including the magazine article featured in your August/September Cycle magazine, along with a video from our Trustee, Christine Gibbons.
The changes are also outlined in the magazine and via a letter to those members who will be directly affected by the proposed changes.
We hope that you will help us to secure a sustainable future for cycling by voting in favour of these proposals at this year’s AGM.
If you have any questions not answered below, please:
- Why are you making changes to membership?
- How did you decide what the changes would be?
- When will these proposed changes take place?
- What are the changes?
- What are the improvements to the membership offer?
- What are the changes to the membership fee structure?
- What is the new Supporter option?
- How will the changes affect me?
- What is the new concessionary rate?
- Will Life Membership still be offered?
- Will the 'five years for the price of four' commuted discount still be offered?
- Will the 14 months for the price of 12 offer still be available?
- I’m currently a Senior member. What are my options after 1 November 2020?
- Will checks be made on my eligibility for a specific membership category, including means testing?
- I originally joined Cycling UK some years ago on a membership offer or type which is no longer available. Will I still be able to remain on this rate?
- Will changes be made to affiliate membership?
- How does Cycling UK spend the money from membership fees?
- Are these changes definitely happening?
- Are you just making the changes now because of coronavirus?
- How does this all link with your PumpedUp campaign?
- What are the next steps and how can I find out more?
Members are at the heart of what we do at Cycling UK. They make us the biggest charity for cycling in the UK, enabling us as a movement to:
- Put on thousands of rides every year, helping people at every level from beginners to enthusiasts to go out riding with like-minded cyclists.
- Hold flagship Challenge Rides across the country, reaching out to the wider cycling community with fun, engaging events.
- Have an incredibly strong voice for national campaigning and lobbying, so that we can make roads safer and get more funding for cycling. Members take personal action, such as signing petitions or writing to their MPs, but also the sheer size of our membership provides ‘clout’ behind our calls to national governments.
- Successfully lobby and campaign on local cycling issues, holding local authorities to account for road safety and infrastructure decisions.
- Help thousands of friends and family get cycling and keep cycling with information, support and advice – especially now when so many people are getting back on their bikes.
- And the invaluable funding from membership fees supports the charity to deploy our policy expertise in lobbying, developing national campaigns, supporting our groups and volunteers, running national events such as Bike Week to engage new cyclists, creating new routes, supporting our community outreach programmes, and much more.
As members are so important to us achieving our charitable mission, a key part of our first ever five-year strategy in 2018 was to grow the number of members and supporters to 100,000. This will give us a much bigger voice for cycling, and much-needed funding to support our mission.
But, given that the number of members has grown only slowly over the past few decades, we knew we would need to review and perhaps make significant changes to our membership offer and structure to grow significantly and create a stronger voice for cycling.
Last year, we undertook a comprehensive review of the membership programmes of many other membership organisations across the UK. In autumn 2019 we conducted a major survey to find out what people thought of membership – almost 4,000 members responded, and we also surveyed more than 1,000 non-members who are regular cyclists.
The results showed that people like both what we are doing as a charity, and the benefits of being members. It also highlighted that there are some key ways we can improve our membership benefits, and also that the way in which we set our fees was not in line with people’s expectations, or how most other membership charities operate.
So, we are proposing to make some improvements to our membership benefits and offers, and we are proposing to make the membership fee structure fairer and more accessible to those on lower incomes so we can grow our membership and impact.
The proposed changes would come into effect on 1 November 2020 if approved by the members at the AGM. Note that some membership types are not eligible to vote, including Affiliated Individual and Back on your Bike members.
The changes are laid out in the August/September issue of Cycle magazine and on the AGM voting paper included with it.
Voting papers must be returned by 9am on Tuesday 1 September or online votes received by 9am on Thursday 3 September. The AGM will be held virtually on Friday 4 September 2020. For more information on voting visit our AGM page.
We want to:
- Improve the membership offer, including providing better benefits and more relevant information, advice and communications to members.
- Change the membership fee structure to make it simpler, fairer and more accessible, encouraging those on lower incomes to join us.
We know from our surveys that insurance is a key benefit for members. We are proposing to bring in on 1 November:
- An introductory 30-day period of free bike insurance and personal accident cover with our provider CycleSure, with the opportunity to purchase a year’s cover at a discount (existing policyholders will be able to receive the same offer).
We also plan to review our overall insurance provision at the end of this year to ensure we are providing the best service for members, and may bring in other improvements following this review.
You've told us that retailer discounts are a highly valued member benefit and that the range availabe to members has already improved this year by adding in offers from Komoot (a free region map bundle to new users), 50% off the Discount Cycle Network (access to over 40 further retailer offers) and 10% off at Freewheel. We had planned to announce a further set of new discounts over the summer, but the unprecedented demand in the cycle market has delayed the launch dates of some of these partnerships until later in the year.
We also know that members love the communications they receive, filled with information, advice, inspiration and great routes to try. Over the course of the next year we will be improving the communications members receive so they are much more relevant to the type of cycling you like to do, whether that’s touring in the UK, or hurtling down mountains.
We propose making the fee structure simpler, fairer, and more accessible. Currently, the majority of members paying a concessionary rate are doing so based on their age, rather than on their ability to pay. We believe it will be fairer to introduce a new main concessionary rate based on the ability to pay, rather than by age.
By making the membership more affordable, more people on lower incomes will be able to join us, meaning we can support them in their cycling journey and giving us a bigger voice to support cycling.
It means the current senior rate for the over-65s will no longer be available on renewals after 1 November 2020. Over the coming months we’ll be working closely with our valued senior members who, importantly, will be able to transition to our new concessionary rate if they need to do so. The additional cost to senior members who do move to a full adult membership, on the other hand, will be less than £1.50 a month.
The new Concessionary membership will replace the existing categories of Disabled, Carer and Unwaged memberships. Existing members with those memberships will transition straight to the new concessionary membership. The criteria for new concessionary members will be that they receive any means-tested benefit; receive disability or carers' benefits; or that they rely on the state pension as their sole source of income. We will continue to have a concessionary rate for those in full-time education (under-18s/juniors and students).
The proposed prices of membership categories are as follows:
There will also be a brand-new Supporter option
If you’re no longer cycling but want to remain part of Cycling UK, the new Supporter option is a way to stay involved and continue to support our wonderful work.
Supporters will still receive Cycle magazine and other communications, and contribute to campaigning, lobbying, protecting cyclists, encouraging more people to cycle and ensuring a great future for cycling across the UK.
By making a minimum donation of just £2 a month via Direct Debit, you will help to support the organisation which you have been a part of for many years.
This is not a membership and so will not include any of the other benefits available to members, including insurance cover, voting rights or access to riding with groups.
All memberships will receive the enhanced benefits outlined above, and other improvements as we roll them out over the next year. In relation to the change in fees:
Adult individual membership – no change in your fees, as the rate will remain frozen at £48 for another year.
Senior membership – the senior rate will no longer be available at your renewal date after 1 November 2020. To ensure that there is no break in your insurance cover, Direct Debit payers will be automatically transitioned to the adult rate. If you pay annually, your renewal letter will invite you to renew on the adult category.
We are very happy to talk through the options that are available if you wish to change to a different category, including the new concessionary rate if you might struggle to pay for adult membership (see full details of your options below).
Disabled/Carer/Unwaged membership – these concessionary memberships will be combined into a new concessionary rate for those who receive means-tested benefits; receive disabled or carers benefits; or whose sole income is the state pension. If you already have one of these memberships, you will transition straight across to the new Concessionary membership and there is nothing further that you need to do. The fee will be increasing by £1 from 1 November.
Junior / Student, Household, Individual Affiliated and Group – no changes to these membership types except that the price will be increasing roughly in line with inflation as set out in the fee table above.
Life membership – there is no change for existing Life members. For new Life members, we are changing the fee calculation.
We want to support people from all different backgrounds to join Cycling UK. We particularly want to encourage those on lower incomes, who may not be able to afford full adult membership, to join.
The criteria for this membership is that you receive means-tested benefits; disabled or carers' benefits; or your sole income is the state pension. This is in line with the criteria for many other membership organisations. You will not need to provide any proof at the point of applying for the membership, but you should bear in mind that your situation may need verification if making an insurance or legal claim.
Check what means-tested benefits are on this page.
Check the benefits available for disabled people and carers on this page.
Yes, Life membership will still be offered. For those members who already have Life membership there will be no change bar the additional benefits with retailers, insurance and exclusive tailored content added to the membership.
For those looking to take up Life membership, there will be a change to the calculation. As of 1 October 2020, it will be as follows:
To calculate the rate, begin with 25 times the annual Adult membership rate, (currently £48), giving a total of £1,200
Then combine these two factors and deduct them:
- 0.5 % (= £6) reduction for every full year of age up to 71; and
- 0.5 % (= £6) reduction for every full year subscription paid by the member.
Most Life memberships in other membership organisations are offered at a fixed rate, so this system remains fairer for those members who have already been with Cycling UK for some time, and factors in a length of time that their membership will continue for.
No, this discount will no longer be available from 1 October 2020. For members currently within a '5 for 4' commuted membership, there will be no change until your renewal after 1 November 2020, and you will still receive the improved benefits with retailers, insurance and exclusive tailored content.
Yes, this offer will still be available for those switching to annual Direct Debit (first year only).
As a senior member you are likely to have been with Cycling UK for many years, and we thank you for your loyal and valued support. As you have already seen, we have exciting plans to do even more to campaign for safer roads, open up new routes and get many more people cycling all over the UK. You are at the heart of the organisation in supporting our campaigns, amplifying our voice and running groups and rides. It is thanks to you and your membership that we can continue to fund the majority of our work. Now the time has come to make some changes that will create a fairer structure of membership fees. We hope that you will continue to be part of our membership and support our charitable aims.
The table below sets out the membership categories available to you and their fees:
As with the normal renewal process, you will receive a letter four to six weeks before your membership is due for renewal.
In this letter you will receive all details of the proposed change to Adult membership as our new standard membership category. To ensure that there is no break in your insurance cover, Direct Debit payers will be automatically transitioned to the adult rate. If you pay annually, your renewal letter will invite you to renew on the Adult category.
You may prefer to change to a different type of membership, such as Concession (if your sole income is from a state pension, for example) or Household (if there are two adults who would benefit from membership in your household). We are here to help with your options, so please do get in touch to discuss the best route for you.
If you are no longer cycling but would like to remain a supporter of Cycling UK and continue to receive your Cycle magazine, you may like to consider our new Supporter option.
14. Will checks be made on my eligibility for a specific membership category, including means testing?
We will not conduct any specific checks on eligibility and Cycling UK will not be conducting “means testing” when you take out membership, as it is an honesty-based system. However, please bear in mind that your situation may require verification if you need to make an insurance or legal claim. "Means tested" is the universal term which refers to the collective group of means-tested benefits that are listed here.
15. I originally joined Cycling UK some years ago on a membership offer or type which is no longer available. Will I still be able to remain on this rate?
Over the past year we’ve been phasing out some historic membership categories such as Go Bicycle and Right to Ride. This is in line with simplifying and streamlining our membership structure. We have been contacting relevant members to inform them that at renewal, they will need to transition to the standard Adult rate (unless they are eligible and wish to move to another category).
Currently no changes are proposed, bar the standard annual increase in price in line with inflation, but we will be reviewing affiliate and group membership later in the year. An individual affiliate membership is available to someone who is a part of a group that has joined Cycling UK as an affiliated group. As an affiliate individual member you will continue to benefit from third-party liability insurance; however to access all benefits such as the legal advice line and Cycle magazine you would need to become a full member, for example an adult, household or concessionary member. .
Membership is the charity’s main source of unrestricted income and it funds much of our work, including policy and lobbying; campaigns; our communications, such as Cycle magazine; our events, including Bike Week; our support for groups and volunteering; and the running of the charity. Membership fees also provide the foundations which allow us to apply for, and win, government funding for our behaviour change programmes (for example Big Bike Revival and Cycle for Health); and design and develop our training courses.
We are incredibly proud of what we are able to achieve together through the funding provided through membership fees. Just last year we:
- Enabled more than 11,000 people to campaign for better cycling infrastructure across England – we are absolutely delighted to see almost all our demands taken up by the government in its new vision for cycling and walking launched this week.
- Encouraged over 400,000 people to practise the ‘Dutch reach’ to prevent car-dooring accidents.
- Reported almost 10,000 potholes to local authorities through the ‘Fillthathole’ app.
- Supported member groups to put on almost 11,000 member group rides, encouraging everyone from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts to go riding with like-minded cyclists.
- Helped groups and volunteers to put on 13 amazing Challenge Rides across the country.
- Launched the Great North Trail, a new 800-mile, almost entirely off-road route from the Peak District to northern Scotland.
- Rolled out our new volunteer engagement system, Assemble, supporting our 7,000 volunteers to put on rides and activities.
- Ran our biggest ever Bike Week and Women’s Festival of Cycling with over 100,000 people taking part in more than 400 real-life and online events.
- Supported our behaviour change team to roll out Big Bike Revival events across England and Scotland, helping more than 100,000 people get back on their bikes and stay cycling.
We couldn’t achieve any of this without the vital funding provided by membership fees – thank you.
You can find more information in our latest Impact Report and annual accounts.
The changes set out in the AGM papers will only happen if members vote in favour of the motion. We will continue to pursue the other improvements to membership that don’t require to be voted upon, but some may not be possible without the resulting increase in income.
These proposed changes are laid out in the August/September issue of Cycle magazine and in the included AGM voting paper and would come into effect on 1 November 2020.
Voting papers must be returned by 9am, Tuesday 1 September or online votes received by 9am, Thursday 3 September. The AGM will be held virtually on Friday 4 September 2020. For more information on voting visit our AGM page.
Should the changes affect you and your membership then all information will be communicated on the renewal invitation letter sent four to six weeks before your renewal date (only affecting renewals on and after 1 November 2020).
If the motion is not passed, then there will be no change. This will mean that the charity will have less income to be able to support our work, future plans, members and supporters.
No. This has been part of the long-term plan that has been thoroughly researched, as you can see from question 2 above. The pandemic has further highlighted a need for urgent change as it has had a significant impact on some of our other funding streams, at the same time as providing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to encourage more people to cycle.
The PumpedUp campaign aims to create a buzz and raise awareness for cycling and Cycling UK. It is mostly funded by our Department for Transport grant to drive people to our Big Bike Revival events. It is also a way of promoting volunteering opportunities, will draw in a new audience, appeal to new cyclists and help us recruit more members.
For more information, visit our Membership Changes page. Here you will find a copy of the article featured in your August/September Cycle magazine, along with a video from our trustee, Christine Gibbons.
All current Senior members will receive a letter detailing the proposed changes, along with a reminder of when their next renewal (after 1 November 2020) is due.
We will also be answering your questions directly on the Cycling UK forum from 30 July and on a Facebook Live event (details to follow).
You can keep updated with all the latest news and information in CycleClips.
If you have any further questions, please:
Thank you for your support.