Research

The Irish Bicycle Business Association has also collected a number of surveys carried out recently which show the development and benefit of cycling to employers, employees and bike shops across Ireland from the implementation of the Cycle to Work scheme.

A1       Bikes4work Retailer Survey 2011

The research was conducted among 130 bike retailers nationwide, representing almost half of bike shops in the country.

91% of bike retailers reported a growth in business in 2010 as a result of the Government’s Cycle to Work scheme, according to new research carried out by One4all Bikes4work ahead of National Cycle to Work Day on Wednesday 22nd June. In more than a quarter of cases, the retailers experienced a significant business growth of between 10-20%. Similarly, over 88% of respondents reported an increase in business in 2009, the first year that the scheme was introduced. This trend continues in 2011 with 60% of retailers recording a growth in business to date.

Commenting on the findings, Michael Dawson, Group CEO at the Gift Voucher Shop, which runs the One4all Bikes4work scheme, said:

“The Cycle to Work scheme is a hugely innovative initiative which has helped create a renewed culture of cycling in Ireland. As our research shows, it has contributed significantly to a rejuvenated bicycle retail industry resulting in a new wave of dynamic businesses as well as job creation at a time when the country needs it most.”

Since the Government scheme began, 68% of those surveyed have increased staff numbers, comprising both full and part-time employees. The majority of new hires (31%) have been recruited so far in 2011 while 28% were taken on during 2010. Furthermore, 63% of respondents have renovated or increased the size of their premises as a result.

According to over half of bike retailers (53%), the average value of each initial bike purchase through the Cycle to Work scheme, including approved equipment, is between €500- €750. 42% of those surveyed said that customers spend from €750 up to the limit of €1,000. In the majority of cases (41%), customers also spend between €50- €100 on additional equipment each year.

  • For 95% of respondents, the Cycle to Work scheme has introduced cycling to a new audience while 94% say the scheme has also resulted in a positive knock-on effect of additional bikes purchased for family members.
  • In over half of cases (56%), the retailers report that customers cite health benefits as their primary reason for cycling to work, followed by cutting the cost of their commute (23%).
  • 91% of bike retailers reported a growth in business in 2010 as a result of the Government’s Cycle to Work scheme
  • In more than a quarter of cases, the retailers experienced a significant growth of between 10-20%
  • Since the scheme began in January 2009, 68% of those surveyed have increased staff numbers
  • 63% of respondents have renovated or increased the size of their premises
  • 95% of respondents feel that the Cycle to Work scheme has introduced cycling to a new audience
  • Most popular bike purchase including approved equipment is between €500 – €750

A2       Bike to Work Employee Survey with TCD.

Bike to Work Ltd / Trinity College Dublin Survey of Employees:

The results show that 73% of those who owned a bicycle before using the scheme cycled for non-work trips at least once a week. The results show that 50% of individuals that had not owned a bicycle in 4-6 years and 54% of those that did not own a bicycle in more that seven years cycled for a non-work trips at least once a week.

Key finding were:

  • The percentage of female respondents to the survey is greater than the percentage of females in Census 2006 who Cycle to Work. This suggests that the scheme has made cycling more attractive to females.
  • Only 12% of respondents did not own a car which shows that modal shift can be achieved among car-owners.
  • 52% of respondents did not own a bike before getting one through the scheme.
  • Of the 52% who did not own a bike before, 75% of them did not own a bike in the previous four years, which demonstrates that the scheme has been successful in attracting individuals to cycle to work.
  • 77% of respondents were very satisfied with the scheme and 22% satisfied.
  • As one would expect of those individuals that had a bicycle before the scheme, 40% cycle to work every day and 68% of all of these individuals cycle to work at least once a week. Of the new bicycle owners those who had not owned a bicycle in 4-6 years 13% cycle to work every day and 57% cycle at least once a week to work.
  • The results for the age profile of the individuals that purchased a bicycle show that the majority of respondents that had not owned a bicycle in at least the past four years were aged between 35-54. This finding demonstrates that one of the success of the scheme is that it has encouraged those in an age group traditionally shown not to cycle as much as other age groups to start to cycle to work.
  • The results show that the most influential factor in encouraging individuals to cycle on a more regular basis was health reasons. The results show that cost was the second most influential factor followed by convenience and time-savings.