Aside from seeing some political celebrities – Norman Lamont’s hair is now a shocking white, by the way – the visit was memorable for the buzz in the corridors of power, with the whiff of change in the air and final pieces of legislation being rushed through before MPs and Lords departed and the election campaigning began in earnest.
As I write this column, those MPs are still out there, pounding the streets in search of your votes. But what does it all mean for the cycle trade? Spokespersons for the UK industry, including the ACT/ActSmart, CTC and media have highlighted that here is an opportunity for change, and we’re not just talking about drawing a line under MPs’ expenses, but change for the good of cycling and, therefore, the cycle trade.
So which way are you going to vote? Do you know how your prospective local politicians are going to support cycling and your retail business? With cycling an attractive political bargaining chip, the election is a genuine opportunity to extract promises and guarantees about cycling and support for local businesses.
But while May 6th draws ever nearer, it’s important to remember that cycling remains a fashionable cause to back, what with its anti-obesity and green credentials. So, election or no, Westminster and local councils will always have a host of reasons to get behind our cause.
A sage piece of advice came my way while at the House of Lords: When those new or re-elected MPs step back into Parliament and the Lords post-election, expectations are high and new faces are looking to stand out and create an impression, or a legacy for themselves. It’s the perfect time, in fact, for the cycle industry to lobby for pro-cycling policies, actions and promises.
With a crowd of new faces likely to arrive in Westminster, it’s fitting that this month’s BikeBiz is celebrating the fresh-faced younger denizens of the cycle trade in our 30 under 30 feature. With ever-fewer members of the BikeBiz team reasonably able to claim they’re under 30, we are a tiny bit jealous of their wrinkle-free faces. You can see the feature on Issuu, or download the magazine PDF.