The Bicycle Association has welcomed today’s announcement that £18 million in funding is to be made available to The Bikeability Trust, simultaneously revealing that children’s bike sales rose by 35% in 2020.
“The announcement of full funding for the Bikeability programme is the result of many years of advocacy effort, in which the Bicycle Association, on behalf of the UK cycle industry, has played a prominent role,” says BA Executive Director Steve Garidis. “It is thanks to the support of BA member companies who contribute to the BA’s advocacy work that the team was able to dedicate the sustained lobbying effort that helped achieve this result.”
The funding increase now means that cash is available to cover the training of all school children in England by 2025. Reminiscent of the Cycling Proficiency Test known to many, Bikeability is the Department for Transport’s (DfT) backed national cycle training programme. It teaches young people the basic skills that help them to ride safely and enjoyably.
The BA state that 1 million children’s bike sales went through the checkouts of bike shops in 2020, much of which took place as a result of the Covid-driven ‘bike boom’ that saw shops sell through stock at a record rate. The bicycle industry has since gone from one extreme to another, with many shops struggling to obtain the stock they need to meet demand as a result of supply chain and shipping backlogs.
Children’s bike sales within the independent bike retailer have ebbed and flowed over time, with many conceding the ground to multiples able to offer low prices and discounts on the popular segment. Yet, in recent years there has been a resurgence with brands like Frog, Eightshot and Moore Large’s Forme Bikes label among those going to great lengths to deliver a quality product to the indie bike store.
According to 2021 data from CyclingIndustry.News’ market report (available in full here), 10% of stores will expand their children’s bike ranges in pursuit of sales to the family in the year ahead. 13% will reduce their stocks of kids’ bikes.