Key takeaways from The Bicycle Association Industry Conference

Hitting 2030 net zero targets will depend on a glut of new digital platforms, products and services to grow cycling.

The Loft team had a productive day at The Bicycle Association of Great Britain Industry Conference yesterday.

One really interesting takeaway (of many), was from a brilliant presentation by Lisa Hopkinson of Transport for Quality of Life Limited

  1. To hit 2030 net zero targets, there needs to be a huge shift in the UK away from using cars for shorter journeys of say 2-10 miles, which account for about 28% of total car mileage.
  2. Obviously one way to help achieve is to get more people using bikes and e-bikes for these journeys (10 miles being realistic with an e-bike). Lisa Hopkinson estimates that this could involve an extraordinary 5-fold increase in the bike market by 2030.
  3. But who are these people? It’s not the current core market of keen and regular cyclists, who are already on their bikes. It needs to be a whole new market of people who don’t currently cycle, but they could.
  4. Why don’t they cycle now? Not clear, but there seems to be a sense that the industry is focused on sport and hobbyist customers, predominantly 30-50 years old and with a male bias. Whereas this new market is all about people who are primarily interested in a bike as practical way to get around, rather than a hobby. Mums, dads, kids and school runs were mentioned more than once.

From a tech perspective, this is really exciting – because where we have new groups of people getting involved in something, we need to create new products, services, technology and innovation to help them. They’ll probably be interested in new and different ways of buying, borrowing, hiring, sharing and recycling their bikes and associated kit. They’ll be looking for new apps and tools to help them manage it on a day to day basis, and they’ll be thinking about things like safety, accessibility, finance, insurance, servicing, and more. A world of new opportunity.

As Lisa says, there will also be massive secondary benefits of such a shift, in terms of health, the quality of our town and city centres, and in other areas too.


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