Cycling group urges pedelec rescue plan for bike shops

Pedelec sales have plummeted by 75-90% in the wake of a policy requiring pedelec owners to register the bikes and wear helmets

A cycling pressure group has urged the government to come up with an immediate rescue plan for bicycle retailers, warning that they have been hit hardest by a policy on pedelecs registration and mandatory helmet use.

The Bicycling Advocacy Group (BAG) warned that pedelec sales plummeted between 75% to 90% last year when compared with 2015, while normal bicycle sales have shown a healthy rise.

“This means retailers have been stuck with stock that they cannot shift, and it’s a wonder that GRTU (the union for SMEs) have not been more vocal, as bike shops have taken a huge hit,” the BAG said. “We don’t know if it is possible, but we’d really like to see the GRTU getting involved as there is a lot of scope for congestion beating pedelec and e-cargo bike logistics for its own members too.”

The group questioned why the bicycle retail industry has been left out of grants – granted to car retailers - to help them adapt and retrain staff in electromobility issues.

“We know that a change is on the cards under the new transport masterplan, but that’s a few more years down the road and will only correct the policy. Returning the status quo will not bring reduced sales or numbers of pedelec commuters already lost. That’s what’s needed right now, a proper rescue plan that compensates retailers and kickstarts consumer confidence again.”