If there’s one good thing to come from the coronavirus crisis, it’s the incredible increase in the number of people cycling. Government figures show bike journeys during weekdays are up as much as 100% – and 200% at weekends.
The media has changed tack and is talking about the positives of cycling. Local authorities up and down the land are putting in infrastructure to make cycle trips in our towns and cities easier and safer.
It feels like the chance of a lifetime to consolidate the work you’ve been helping us to achieve for many years. After all, it’s your membership that gives us a voice and provides the vital funds for us to carry on.
The more people we can inspire to cycle, the better world we’ll create for all of us, but to do so, we have to attract more people to join our cause .
Dan Howard, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Your support has helped us lobby governments for more funding, overturn cycle bans, push for improvements to highway laws, work with the police on driver education, support more women to cycle, and fight injustices in the courts.
Our member groups have put on thousands of rides. We’ve produced maps and routes. During the lockdown, we’ve been campaigning for pop-up cycle lanes, while keeping you up to date with all the latest government advice across
the four nations.
You’ve supported us with Bike Week, the Big Bike Revival, and the Women’s Festival of Cycling. Together, we’re making the roads safer, opening up new routes across the UK, and transforming lives. None of that would have been possible without you. But we want to do more.
Dan Howard, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “We can only achieve our ambitions for more and better cycling with the support of our members who fund so much of our vital work. In order to do this, we realised last year that we needed to review our membership offer.
“Therefore, after carrying out research with current members, and reviewing a number of similar organisations, we are making membership of Cycling UK simpler, fairer, and more accessible.
“We propose to introduce a new main concessionary rate based on the ability to pay, rather than age. By making the membership more affordable, more people on lower incomes will be able to join us, giving us a bigger voice to support cycling.”
It means the current senior rate for the over 65s will no longer be available on renewal 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 will be less than £1.50 a month.
Going forward, we’ll be giving you more for your membership. You’ll still benefit from third-party insurance, retail discounts, a dedicated incident helpline, and, of course, a free copy of the UK’s best cycling magazine, Cycle.
From November, we’ll be adding:
- 30 days free bike insurance.
- A wider range of retailer discounts.
- A new concessionary discount based on the ability to pay.
And while we implement the changes, our adult membership fee will be frozen for a year.
Support for cycling
We’ll also be offering an exciting new range of discounts at a range of cycle and outdoor retailers. All new and existing members will be offered free bike insurance for a 30-day trial period on cycles up to the value of £15,000. At the end of this trial period, members will then have the option to purchase a year’s cover for the price of nine months.
As part of our membership review, we recognise that some people want to support us even though they no longer cycle. So, for the first time, we’re offering a reduced cost supporter package in return for a donation. You’ll still receive your copy of Cycle magazine and be helping fund our work, but you won’t be covered by any of our insurance or have access to our legal helpline or discounts.
Dan Howard said: “The more people we can inspire to cycle, the better world we’ll create for all of us, but to do so, we have to attract more people to join our cause
“This is now more crucial than ever. The coronavirus crisis has led to an unprecedented boom in cycling but also impacted on several of our funding streams.
“This is a critical time to support more people to cycle and secure a sustainable future for Cycling UK. With our finances under pressure, the wonderful funding and support from our members has never been more vital.
“That’s why I’d urge you to support our changes by voting at this year’s AGM and help us make a real, lasting difference.”
For more details, visit our membership changes page. Everything you need for AGM voting is on the separate leaflet that was in the envelope with your copy of Cycle.
You are Cycling UK
Martin Sargeant, 72, from West Sussex has been a member for 14 years.
He’s supporting our membership changes as he recognises the incredible work the charity is doing in support of all cyclists.
He said: “Cycling UK is such a valuable organisation, and what it offers makes it more valuable every day. It’s a powerful organisation and a beam of light.
“We need more people to realise the fun of a bike and to get out of their cars. You see so many wonderful things and places on a bike that you don’t see if you zoom through in a car. You meet people and taste and smell the air. It’s not just about saving the planet, but about the joy of being on a bike.”