London’s largely segregated cycle superhighways were given the go ahead last month and just days later Newcastle announced it was to build a protected cycleway through its city centre. This flurry of good news prompted us to ask whether the trade believed that these properly thought through cycle facilities would boost bike businesses and get tills ringing.
We asked “Do new cycle facilities – like proper cycle paths or more skate parks, etc – have an impact on business?” and respondents were split.
40 per cent of respondents said “yes, more cycle facilities have a positive impact on bike businesses.”
20 per cent said that more cycle facilities do not necessarily equal more sales or customer footfall. Those that had no idea numbered just as many as those who thought cycle facilities would have a positive impact on businesses, cruelly dashing our hopes of achieving some kind of trade consensus on the issue.
Perhaps most revealing of all, this was one of our least popular surveys yet, indicating that many bike shops don’t really have any clear idea on whether new cycle facilities can impact on their business.
One commenter had an interesting take on the topic: “I have not seen our local council do anything to increase cycle use, Sustrans has done more. The most increase in business has come from local cycle events like Mountain Mayhem and better off-road facilities/trail centres.”
If you missed your chance to have your say you can email us at BikeBiz@nbmedia.com or comment below.
We first published these survey results in our Community page, sponsored by Oxford Products, in March's BikeBiz.