CTC Chief Executive's spring update

Paul Tuohy riding in the sunshine
Paul Tuohy's picture

CTC Chief Executive's spring update

The clocks have changed and spring is finally here, CTC's Paul Tuohy is celebrating a campaigning victory and is looking ahead to an amazing summer of cycling.

Spring has definitely sprung for CTC and so far we’re off to a flyer!

Many of you will know that our Campaigns team headed by Roger Geffen had been working hard to get cycling embedded in the road planning budget which is worth billions and can greatly improve the cycling infrastructure for us all. Over 5000 of you used our website to email your MP and lobby for our amendment to the Bill. A stunning victory for cycling was achieved when this became law last month, so thank you for helping to make it happen!

CTC’s growing influence as an authoritative voice on how to Get Britain Cycling has also caught the attention of the Department for Transport who I have pressed for support on ways to encourage more people to cycle as a regular means of travel, be it to school, work or play. Following a pilot project, co-ordinated by Ian Richardson, Head of Cycling Development, we are delighted that the DfT have agreed our proposal of £1m to develop CTC’s Big Bike Revival

The Minister responsible for cycling, Robert Goodwill was greatly impressed how CTC was able to attract and encourage a new audience to get their tired dusty bikes out of the shed and use them more regularly last October. Ian is now setting an ambitious target to get 50,000 people to re-engage with riding their bikes during 23 May - 7 June 2015. We hope many will join CTC as a result.

Once again we have a packed programme of activities lined up for summer. We shall be present at the L’Eroica in June with a number of our members taking part including our Chair David Cox. If you haven’t heard of it do check out this nostalgic weekend of cycling with brilliant routes from 30 to 100 miles.

We will have a team of 50 raising money for CTC at Ride London which I will be repeating even after last year’s rain soaked outing! Last year our Dr Bike stand was overwhelmed with over 2000 people so we’re gearing up to do even better.

Later in the summer, CTC has teamed up with SweetSpot, organisers of the Tour of Britain as the lead charity for ‘The Great Tour’. It will be an amazing event that will circumnavigate the whole of the UK. There are 64 stages from July to September to choose from, averaging 60 miles a stage with many good causes set to benefit by adopting a stage. CTC will be promoting two stages and we will be using our partnership to promote the charity as the ‘go to’ place for the everyday cyclist.

Recently, I spoke at our Inclusive Cycling Conference in Reading. CTC supports many brilliant projects working with people with disabilities, many of whom ride their bikes, often in challenging environments. I heard from some brilliant grassroots projects that operate on tiny budgets but have big impacts in their communities. Our lottery funding for this work is about to end but we want to do more to champion the rights of disabled people to have better access to adapted bikes, repairs when they go wrong and group riding to engage further in cycling.

I am often told by stakeholders who work with us that we need to be more visible and make our work better known." 

Paul Tuohy, CTC Chief Executive 

As part of our on-going need to develop as a national charity for cycling, we are continually looking at how we operate and are currently reviewing our governance to explore improved ways to deliver our mission as a charity. We are also working on how we better communicate what CTC is to attract new members and supporters. I am often told by stakeholders who work with us that we need to be more visible and make our work better known.

Easily said when your budgets are so limited, but that is our challenge at CTC. There are millions of people with bikes who have never heard of CTC, so I want to make sure that they get the message. To do this we are looking at our brand and image and how we communicate what we are and what we do to support cycling for all. We have the heritage and history but we haven’t used this to good effect. I think it’s one of our greatest assets, and if marketed correctly, we can be the home for a new generation of cyclists.

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