This year has been a key year in our
history with the change of trading name to Cycling UK and at a time when
cycling is getting more and more popular. The name change has been contentious
with everyone holding strongly held opinions one way or another. The change has meant that we can hold onto our traditional logos and
names where we prefer with the new name being used to help
brand communications and reach out to government, to our partners and to the public. Some
groups have held on to their names and some have changed and some have done a
bit of both. Of course a new brand takes some time to bed in but we have had a
very positive response in the main and I feel we are starting to see the effect in some great
work for the groups, campaigners and projects.
Many groups continue to thrive and grow, whilst others remain strong and
stable in the face of increasing competition from other cycling groups and we have seen more diverse member club activity and types of riding. Again
this is our general experience and I know in particular one of my groups has
seen a decline.
We’ve provided ride leader training to all to assist in bringing more
resource to groups and we are looking changes to the Policy Handbook to make it
easier for groups to join Cycling UK. We’re developing and revising all our
other policies and guidance to make them simpler to understand and easier to access,
alongside the groups’ promotional area of the website, which should include a
listing of all informal groups in the future.
Here are some of our headlines:
Aid now eligible on memberships
direct debit now live- join for just £3.59 pm
membership marketing materials available for groups
have seen a slight decline in our numbers this year however we have recently taken the decision to invest more money into Matt Malinder’s team and we will be hoping to see that bear its fruits over the next few months. We have just commissioned and had report a review
of volunteering and I may be able to share more of that soon, however, it
really was exciting to see the possibilities we have that we currently do not
take advantage of.
groups 1,000 ride leaders trained in last 12 months
of the insurance guidance policy handbook to look to extend the number of rides
a non-member can go on to encourage eventual sign up
Tri-vets series on which we are looking to build other events series –
Challenge rides, Belles on Bikes women’s initiatives in 2017 and 2018
a new highly enthused and active professional communications team, which has
enabled us to raise the profile of our charity in the media and to the cycling
improved on our ability to measure, monitor and report on the impact of our
intelligence through Vote Bike helping us to identify candidates’ views on
cycling as they stood for Welsh Assembly and Police and Crime Commissioner elections,
with the help of over 5,000 emails.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan to adopt our proposed policy to phase out unsafe
lorries on London’s roads, and convinced HS2 Ltd to call on bidders for HS2
construction work to show their commitment to safe lorries.
the Ministry of Justice to review road traffic offences and sentences, and
particularly the distinction between “careless” and “dangerous” driving.
Eurostar to change its mind on cycle carriage, so that you don’t have to break
down and box-up your bike for travel, through over 10,000 emails, and lots of
national press coverage (including top trending story on BBC online).
10,000 responses to our survey of off-road cyclists’ experiences, and mobilised
clear public support (over 4,000 responses to the consultation) for the Welsh
Government’s plans for increased countryside access.
Our Space for Cycling campaign with new guides published, and campaigners
Scotland agreed to pilot Big Bike Revival in 2016. We had an amazing launch in
Stirling attended by Humza Yousaf, Scottish Government Minister for Transport
and our celebrity ambassador, Michelle McManus, who has been inspired by the
campaign so much she has purchased and started to use a second hand bike around
Cycling Development staff team reached a peak of 27 people in 2016 focused on
delivering The Big Bike Revival and developing our network of Community Cycle
Clubs across England and Scotland. Reaching 50,000+ beneficiaries and
many of them from within deprived communities.
have gained an additional 3 awards this year for The Big Bike Revival to add to
oChartered Institute of Marketing – Best Third Sector Campaign
oNorthern Digital Marketing Award – Best Public Sector Campaign
oSmarter Travel Award – Best Marketing Campaign
oGuardian Sustainable Business Awards – Runner Up
oCycle Planning Awards – Best Behaviour Change Campaign
are investing in our IT team and associated infrastructure to improve our web
presence so that members, prospective members and beneficiaries are informed
and inspired by Cycling UK to enjoy cycling
have explored how we support our volunteers and created a new strategy to
improve the way we recruit, train, develop and encourage volunteering to
increase the impact of our charity and make volunteering with us more
convenient and fun
have reviewed the governance structure and processes and the changes are in the
process of being implemented. We have made moves to strengthen the operation of
the board and to create a greater focus on the role of the Trustee. These
changes should mean the board is better equipped to lead the direction and
good running of the organisation and for the Trustees to hold the executive to
account. One of those changes is the move to elected Trustees on a skills and
experience based approach. With the
growing capability to support member groups from national office we no longer
require a regional representation role. I will however continue to attend East
Midlands meetings where I can, firstly because I value those of you I work
closely with and I appreciate knowing about what is happening in my area,
albeit that is sometimes a bit of a challenge.
Hello to you all. It has been a very busy period indeed, mainly I have to say off the bike supporting the cause of being on the bike - either with my work with Cycling UK or with the ECF.
focus of council business since my last update has been on rebranding, the
governance review and preparing for and supporting the AGM.
of you will be aware, as well as attending all the council meetings I have been
heavily involved for 18 months as a member of the small group looking at how we
improve how we lead a successful Cycling UK for current and future members. The
changes we are progressing focus on having a smaller more robust and better equipped
Trustee board to set the strategy, make sure the organization is well run and
hold to account the executive for delivery of the strategy. We consulted with
council extensively and the members on the group all have considerable
experience at board level outside of Cycling UK so were able to bring a good
level of expertise and challenge to this to ensure that what we arrived at
benefits our organization, our members and all that we serve. I feel very proud
of this work and we are now set to the next phase which is about
this mean for you? You wont have a regional representative on council but you will
be much better served and supported by the membership team. We will look also
at how we create better links between work in National Office and the many
experts and interested parties we have out in our groups and communities.
Whilst I serve on Council I will continue to come along to the East Midlands
meeting, which is something I enjoy rather than simply attending because I am
your councilor. I feel very connected to people who attend not least to my
colleagues in Leicestershire where riding and belonging to the CTC began.
very sorry to hear of the loss of Phil Allen. I already mentioned my
affiliation with Leicestershire. Although I didn’t cycle for very long with the
group it was Phil that took me under his wing in my 20’s and during that period
I made the jump from being a commuter cyclist to a touring cyclist and I recall
doing my first 100 mile ride (not with Phil) over to and in the Peak District
and being more than a little elated, if not giddy, after the event. I pay my
greatest respects to John and the family and a personal tribute to Phil for his
encouragement and friendliness.
for those days again when I had much more time to get out and enjoy the things
I love . . . and as I approach in 2017 my 50th year I am making
changes that allow me to spend more time on my two wheels and walking in the
copies of Cycle Chat from our Leicestershire
member groups and Cyclonda from our
Notts group. I am aware that these publications take a lot of effort to keep
going and resources from your budgets. I am also aware that this is something
you discuss periodically in your meetings. So what do I think? Well I could
never be described as a techno-phobe nor a luddite as I have more technical kit
in the house than I care to list. I am a lover and user of social media (but
not Facebook) and I have personally led the introduction of social media usage
in large organisations. However. . . I really love receiving these
publications. I cherish them arriving, I read everything that is written in
them, reread them and always feel a bit sad discarding them periodically. I
just feel it connects me to you in a way that the electronic methods cant. I
can tuck it in my handbag, I make notes in them, fold them, read them in the
bath . . and so it goes on. It is very different to how I connect with emails
that come through which I tend to scan and discard as soon as I can. But I am
as guilty as the next for not contributing to the content and I know the
editors often rely on a relatively small number of people to keep the content
going. So on balance on all of that I have to say I think they have a valued
role for too many people to move away from them. So note to self and to others
that can, how do we help support keep these cherished publications going?
Beaumanor Rally has just taken place which is an
annual event for people far and wide. The location is simply wonderful for all
kinds of cyclists however despite commendable efforts of the new organizing
committee the attendance was low. It is a great event but at this years level
of attendance it becomes unsustainable. I ask you to get involved and come along
next year (as I intend to) and to enlist your buddies far and wide to come
along too. If we don’t I fear we may lose this much loved annual opportunity
for cycling and companionship in and beyond the East Midlands.
start with ‘why change’. We undertook some extensive research which included
reaching out to members and other cyclists who may not be members. This took place over 3 different reviews over
recent years. The overriding evidence was that unless people were in the CTC
they did not know that we existed or had a very narrow perception of who we are
what we do. Certainly most didn’t think that we had anything to offer them. In
order to sustain and grow we need to continue to be the chosen organisation for
our valued members but also appeal to others who cycle, would cycle or support
cycling. We have more or less flatlined our membership at a time when BC has
grown significantly and we have not prospered from the boom in people cycling
over recent years.
choosing the name and the branding with it, it was important that this was
vibrant and meaningful and gave an immediate sense of the pleasure of this
wonderful thing we all do for different reasons. There was an extensive piece
of work in testing out names and comparisons etc and just like some of you have
identified to me directly, we had many varied personal opinions and preferences
but in the end Council was almost unanimous (with only one not voting for the
name) in agreeing the recommendations in full.
If I were
to say Cycling UK has gone down a storm it could be read in a number of ways.
Predominantly it has had overwhelming support and positive reactions and from
all kinds of members, communities and stakeholders. For some I know you may
feel it is a storm of a more troubled kind and although I don’t share your
fears I do share your passion and fondness for what we are and how we have got
here.From the beginning I fought for
retaining the CTC branding for local groups where you feel you would like to retain
it. That in the end was agreed and I am very proud of this. I think for some
that continued identity is important. For others you may decide that moving to
the new brand is an opportunity to develop your group further or simply just
want to have this new vibrant image. Whatever you decide it will be right for
you and I am just delighted that you have that choice.
guidelines have been issued to all our groups and this I have to say was very
impressive indeed. All marketing materials including event collateral, branded
merchandise, clothing, advertising and any membership benefits related comms
have redesigned bringing in line with new brand, plus distribution – this
including materials required for promoting Cycling UK to new prospects, plus
materials required by staff/development, volunteers, trainers and member
groups/affiliate groups. Member groups have been supplied with new materials –
some already used Cycling UK materials at events/have events imminently
featuring the new brand.
good to see a number of my members from the region at the AGM, it had a lively
start with some very good debate. You will be able to see the results of the
motions on the main website so I wont repeat that here.
deal of work has gone into not just rebranding the website but also in making
the navigation, content and usage match our new strategy. I had a really good
look around this week and felt it was much improved.
Tourist Competition is now underway and has a large number of events registered
so far and results have started to come in. We have made some changes this year
to the competition to try and facilitate a far easy process for result
collection and processing. The key change is that all participants must
register once to enter the competition, allowing us to capture the unique
identifier which then will enable us to process results at a much faster speed.
The relationship between Cycling UK, participants and organisers is being
strengthened this year by a more robust communications plan, which we are able
to deploy due to correct data being captured earlier on. We expect that this will
increase participation in events and support from organisers. Another new web
function to compliment the competition is an interactive map of this year’s
Touring Competition is being reviewed with a working group including Jim Brown,
and regular winner Lowri Evans has been invited. A new proposal for 2017 will
be a developed by mid summer.
Tri-Vets is shaping up to be a very exciting challenge series, with 19 groups
registering events. We have had over 465 registrations through the Cycling UK
web site and great feedback from the organisers. The Tri-Vets certificates for
this year have had a slight redesign to incorporate the new brand, whilst
holding on to the wing wheeled history. Badges and date stamps have been
2016 is nearly upon as: 11th – 19th June
2016, with the MP bike ride on 8th June. The 2016 theme is ‘Cycle to
Work’. Our partners: NSPCC as charity partner (bringing PR support, celebrity
endorsement, local fundraising network including corporates), Daily Telegraph
as Mainstream media and Immediate Media (Bike Radar, Cycling Plus etc.) as
Cycling media partner (bring online content, prizes, data acquisition),
Cyclescheme (for penetration into businesses) and Love to Ride (personal
challenge website to log miles etc).
see us working with Love to Ride to incorporate their challenge platform into
our activity. Individuals taking part in the ‘Bike Week National Challenge’
will be able to log their miles and compete to win prizes.
partnership with the NSPCC will allow us to reach out to their corporate
networks, public databases to encourage registration, participation and
I fear I
may now be writing too much and boring the poor reader, so I sign off for now
and will be back again when I can to update. In the meantime enjoy the outdoors
on foot or on wheels and the companionship of being part of Cycling UK.
This is a video of the Ukraine Veloforum which I attended in my role as Vice President for the ECF. This brings together a group of young activists and advocates from across the country who work hard on behalf of cyclists in a challenging context. Enjoy
As we approach the final few weeks of the year I have
summarised some of the activity at National Office and more locally to help us
reflect on progress and future work. I think it has been a successful year and
we have started to see some important outcomes for cycling from the new
Following the member group survey into how CTC could best
support groups, groups are being offered the opportunity to attend a single day
ride leader course. The course covers route planning, insurance, data
protection, how to lead a ride, running events, safeguarding and incident management.
All participants take away a professional 60-page course manual for future
reference. The first pilot events were held in Guildford and Blackpool
with ~ 50 participants on the 20th September. These went very well
with great feedback from participants, and 30+ courses will follow across
the UK. See: http://www.ctc.org.uk/news/20150901-free-1-day-ride-leader-course-ctc-members
The CTC media team has grown since last year. The team now
comprises, David Murray, Head of Communications and Campaigns, Victoria Hazeal,
Senior Communications Officer and Tony Upfold, Communications and Media
Officer. The team are available to support local groups with advice on how to
build effective media relations and write press releases and can be contacted
on 01483 238 315 or via email@example.com.
One of our campaigns successes with the ability to make a big
impact this year has been that the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy which
reached the statute book earlier this year, through the Infrastructure Act.
This legislation creates an obligation on government and local authorities to
make clear their cycling infrastructure spending plans in the same way that
they do for roads investment.
The Trails for Wales campaign took up the opportunity in
Wales to support the Welsh Assembly Government’s proposal to widen off-road
cycling access across the public rights of way network. The campaign saw over
4,000 people send in letters of support to the formal government consultation,
which is the highest volume of responses that the Welsh Assembly has ever
received for any formal consultation.
Our Zero Stars for Eurostar campaign working alongside the
ECF (European Cyclists Federation) started on 14 October. It is in response to
Eurostar’s plans to force cyclists to breakdown and box-up their bikes to carry
them on their train services, at a cost of £30. In the first 24 hours we received
the support of 6,000 people, who wrote to Eurostar’s CEO asking that he rescind
this decision before it was planned to come into force on 1 November 2015. I am
delighted to say that this combined effort achieved its aims with news last
Friday of the backdown of Eurostar, A huge well done to Roger, the media
team and all involved.
Elections in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland: ‘Vote
Bike’ and ‘We Walk, We Cycle We Vote’
Following the success of Vote Bike in the run-up to the UK
General election earlier this year, we are in discussions about how to mobilise
the ‘cycling vote’ for the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish elections in May
2016. However we will need to develop different “policy calls” for each
of the three devolved countries for voters to ask their candidates to support.
The policy-calls for Vote Bike in Wales are likely to be (a)
the funding needed to implement the Active Travel (Wales) Act and (b)
implementing the Trails for Wales proposals. Likewise in Northern
Ireland, the call is likely to be for the funds needed to deliver the very
promising Bicycle Strategy for Northern Ireland, launched in August by former
Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy AM.
In Scotland, CTC’s New Cycling Development Officer in
Scotland, Suzanne Forup is leading on a campaign for a jointly agreed
walking and cycling manifesto, under the banner ‘We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote’,
collaborating closely with Pedal on Parliament. This will greatly strengthen
CTC’s campaigning visibility and credibility in Scotland.
During the Spring half term holidays, we launched our Big
Bike Revival campaign, aimed at people who own bikes but have not ridden them
for a year or more. By joining forces with 90 bike recycling centres across
England, Halfords and Raleigh, we ran over 1,600 events in a two week period,
encouraging over 30,000 people to take part and fixing over 24,000 bikes. The
campaign also reached over 3 million people online with our message to fall
back in love with cycling. We hope to repeat this campaign every year with
Department for Transport funding.
CTC is working with branding agency, Campfire, to review our
brand. Member groups, partners and a sample of CTC members have been surveyed
as part of the research phase. The aim of the review is to develop a brand and
associated materials in order to provide CTC with a strong proposition for
existing and prospective members and supporters. We aim to have rolled out the
refreshed brand ahead of the 2016 cycling season, with a view to launching in
Based on feedback we received at our 2014 AGM, we saw the
value of running various workshops that cover the breadth of our work, as an
engagement tool with our members. On 10 October, we hosted our first annual
Members’ conference at the University of Warwick. We were joined by Joe Saxton,
a leading light in the voluntary sector, and Mark Colbourne, the London 2012
gold medal-winning Paralympic cyclist, to share ideas and best practice on
effective campaigning, group and events promotion and cycling development.
Feedback from the conference has been really positive and so we aim to run
these events annually.
I am delighted that Jean
Lakin from our Leicestershire and Rutland Member Group achieve 'highly
commended' in the annual awards. Jean works relentlessly to support
cycling in the group, across Leicestershire and the East Midlands. She
steadfastly provides catering, often single handedly and volunteers to
help with the many events that take place. Where would we be without Jean, a
well deserved award.
In addition to this Andy
Townsend from our Lincolnshire Member Group was nominated for and awarded a
certificate of merit for his sustained and successful work on behalf of the
county. Andy working with Rodney Jelfs has successfully made the council halt
plans for a bypass in order to make better provision for cycle crossings as
well as being a pivotal in getting new members and current members to cycle in
the area. He launched a womens ride earlier this year, enticing a really
great ambassador of cycling Melanie Carroll to take a lead role following her
work with Breeze (BC). Finally I couldn’t miss the significant success when
achieved when Andy managed to get the CTC exhibiting in the castle grounds at
Lincoln for the National Championships which took part in the summer
during a festival of cycling over the whole weekend. It was great to see the
CTC in the centre of things and I was very proud to support Tim Newberry and
Andy at the event. So for Andy a more than deserved this award.
My Election as Vice-President of ECF (European Cyclists
I was absolutely delighted at the beginning of
the summer to be voted in against stiff competition from many other countries.
I intend to link my work with CTC and ECF to maximize campaigning and
supporting better, more and safer cycling for all.
Mince Pie Run
So my final words are to keep safe during these short
days and long nights and decreasing temperatures and if you want to join
hundreds of other cyclists - The annual
Mince Pie Run is on the 20th December when cyclists from near and far assemble
at Belton Village Hall 10.30-12.30am. Most will arrive by bike and be rewarded
by a hot drink and mince pie.