Membership changes approved – what happens next?

Membership changes have been approved
Earlier this year, we proposed some fundamental changes to our membership which have now been voted on and approved at our AGM. The changes will come into effect from 1 November and will have an impact on all members

The changes approved at our 2020 AGM means we can offer you more for your fees, such as increased insurance and retailer discounts, provide more tailored content to suit the type of cycling you’re interested in and help us increase our membership numbers.

From 1 November, on renewal, our concessions will be solely based on the ability to pay rather than related to age. In other words, we will no longer be offering a senior discount.

The change was essential to ensure our fee structure is fairer overall and our funding is sustainable for all those things you want us to carry on doing such as our vital campaigning work to improve cycling conditions for everyone.

The changes do mean we now have the opportunity to double down on all the good work we’ve started

Dan Howard, chair of trustees

Dan Howard, chair of trustees, said: “Many members supported the changes but we also very much appreciate that they caused concern for some and we’re grateful to everyone who took the time to call and email with their feedback.

“Hopefully, we were able to allay many of the fears they might have had and they went away with a better understanding of why the changes, particularly to the fees, were necessary.

“We’ve received a great deal of valuable feedback and suggestions which we’ve already used to shape how the new membership package will be implemented, and we’ll be working hard to support our senior members over the coming year because it’s important to us that you stay with us and keep supporting cycling and our important work.

“The changes do mean we now have the opportunity to double down on all the good work we’ve started, whether that’s campaigning for better infrastructure and justice for cyclists, helping more people to start and continue cycling or inspiring and encouraging more women to cycle.“

Your membership fees pay for supporting new cyclists to get riding and for us to get the media talking about cycling

The motion for change put forward at the AGM followed a wide-ranging survey of members and detailed research into membership packages provided by other similar-sized charities.

It also forms part of our drive to increase our membership numbers so our collective voice becomes even louder.

What happens next?

We’ll be contacting all members who currently fall into the senior age bracket well in advance of their renewal to explain their options.

That might mean we’re able to move you onto a concessionary rate if you meet the criteria, such as being in receipt of pension credit or if the state pension is your sole income.

There is also an option to move to a £75 household membership if you live with another member.

You could take out a lifetime membership, which reduces the cost based on the number of years you’ve been a member. This option is a great way to support the charity over the long term and also excellent value for money, significantly reducing the overall cost to recognise your loyalty to the charity. This is something that very few other organisations currently offer.  

Finally, there is an option for older members to switch to our new supporter option: perfect for people who no longer cycle but who wish to stay involved and supporting us. For a minimum £2 monthly donation, you’ll still receive your Cycle magazine, a benefit we know is highly valued by members, but you won’t be paying for insurance cover.

Furthermore, we’re freezing the adult rate this year to support those people transitioning from the old senior rate.

How the changes will help

These changes mean we can build on our membership foundations and become a more powerful voice for cycling with a greater influence over governments and key decision makers.

It will allow us to lobby for more funding for cycling, to push for improvements to highway laws, to work with police on driver education, to support more women to cycle and to fight injustices in the courts.

This year has been an extraordinary one in many respects, not least because of the enormous impact coronavirus has had on all our lives.

It’s meant group rides have been curtailed and limits placed on our movements, but at the same time we’ve seen a massive increase in the numbers of people cycling.

I know how unsettling change can be, but I’m pleased that the majority of members understood and appreciated our reasons for the changes

Dan Howard, chair of trustees

Government figures reported that at one stage during the lockdown, cycle journeys were up a staggering 200%.

This has presented a huge opportunity for us all in the cycling community. More people cycling means greater pressure can be brought to bear on making cycling safer, more accessible and more accepted.

Even the government in England has announced its most comprehensive package of measures ever to improve walking and cycling after years of lobbying by Cycling UK. 

To build on that momentum, we’re already looking ahead to next year to see how we can shape Bike Week, the Women’s Festival of Cycling, and the Challenge Ride series as well as continuing to lobby and campaign for infrastructure improvements, Highway Code amendments and fairer treatment of cyclists through the courts.

Changes to the membership fees will allow us to continue putting on events such as the Women's Festival of Cycling

We’re working closely with groups and volunteers to improve your cycling experience, looking at how we make CycleClips and Cycle magazine even more relevant to you and continuing to build on our behaviour-change programmes, helping even more people into the saddle.  

Dan Howard added: “I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to vote or attend our AGM. I know how unsettling change can be, but I’m pleased that the majority of members understood and appreciated our reasons for the changes.”

“It’s important to us that we’re able to support those members on low incomes who would struggle to pay the full rates, which is why the team will be providing lots of support not only to senior members, but to all our membership – because every member is important for us and we want you to stay.

“We need you to help us reach our ambitious target of 100,000 members and supporters because they will ensure we remain financially sustainable for the future and grow in stature and in voice to represent the rights and needs of cyclists everywhere.’

What do I need to do next?

You don’t need to do anything now.  Simply wait for your normal renewal reminder letter, and emails, which will set out all your options in more detail and give you plenty of time to transition to the right option for you.