Paul Tuohy, CEO of CTC since 2014, has managed to push through a name change for the organisation founded in 1878. Originally known as the Bicycle Touring Club and then the Cyclists’ Touring Club before becoming known by its acronym the CTC will soon become Cycling UK. The decision was taken at a CTC Council meeting and agreed on a vote of 15 to 1. The CTC has 67,000 members. There will a wider vote on the name change at the CTC’s AGM in May but there are no plans to poll the full membership with a postal vote.
In a statement Tuohy said: "Our charity has a new name. We are confident that [the] change is one that reflects the great pride that we all take in our charity, and that helps to magnify the work that we do to inspire people into cycling, campaign to protect the gift of cycling, and help people to overcome personal barriers to cycling."
While it will become known as Cycling UK the charity will still legally be registered as the Cyclists’ Touring Club with its charity and companies registrations unchanged.
"The Cyclists’ Touring Club is not being disbanded," said Tuohy.
"In fact, part of the need for this change is because we hope the new brand will enhance our touring offering."
Cycling UK’s strapline will be "we are Cycling UK – The cyclists’ champion". The new logo uses the Cocon font, as used by Durex and the National Lottery.
"We are very proud of our heritage and history, and we know that a new name and brand will really help to make our charity even more attractive to a great many more people," said Tuohy.
Previous to this appointment as CEO Tuohy was CEO of Mentor, a charity which works in schools on drug and alcohol prevention. He has worked in the charity sector since 1984 and has led charities as a CEO since 2004, largely as a "change management specialist" focusing on building brands, fundraising and income generation.
The CTC was founded as the Bicycle Touring Club at the North of England Meet of high-wheel riders held on the Stray at Harrogate, Yorkshire, on August 5th, 1878. The club was renamed as the Cyclists’ Touring Club in 1882 to accommodate the tricyclists who had joined the club. In September 2012, the Cyclists’ Touring Club was merged with the CTC Charitable Trust, forming a single charitable organisation.
In 2013 the League of American Bicyclists – founded in 1880 as the League of American Wheelmen – also carried out a rebranding process although it went with a retro look.
A press statement at the time said: “Our new look may seem a bit familiar: It draws on our unique history and depth of knowledge, using elements of the original winged wheel logo of the League of American Wheelmen. But, with a modern edge and forward motion, it also showcases our commitment to propel the new, diverse and growing ranks of bicyclists in the United States, recognizing and representing the current and future face of the cycling movement.”
The CTC’s rebrand will take place in April. However, it is being opposed by some grassroots members. Philip Benstead is leading the opposition to the rebranding. He said. "We are petitioning the CTC to demand a poll of the whole club so CTC members will have the opportunity to indorse or overturn the motion."
Benstead’s petition requires the signatures of 200 members, he said, and should be returned to CTC Brand Petition, 19 Greencoat Mansions, Greencoat Row, Westminster, London, SW1P 1PG.