A new online map and postcode search facility has been set up to highlight bicycle shops which remain open during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It will enable key workers and others who need their bikes fixed for essential journeys, or for exercise, to quickly locate retailers and repairers who are open for business.
The service has been set up in collaboration between the Bicycle Association (BA) and the ACT.
“It is of utmost importance to collaborate during a pandemic such as COVID-19 and therefore the ACT has been liaising regularly with the Bicycle Association to form a unified stance to keep cycling going,” said Jonathan Harrison, ACT director.
“Shops need to remain open as a vital service for essential workers and so that bikes are kept on the road, and safely maintained, to provide necessary transport and health/exercise options. It is crucial however, that any bike shops remaining open are following Government guidelines and are operating responsibly in the interests of customers and their staff.”
Some retailers will have decided to open by appointment only, or workshop-only, or perhaps on a deliveries-only basis. The exact extent of opening will be clearly indicated so that customers are fully informed.
This service is completely free of charge for both users and all retailers, irrespective of ACT or BA membership.
Steve Garidis, executive director of the BA, added: “Cycling is proving its vital strategic role in ensuring that those who must travel to work can do so without having to use public transport. The cycle industry has a key role in supporting this, in particular the bike shops which have remained open to provide essential products and services. This is our small part as an industry in the national effort to tackle COVID-19.
“That’s why the Bicycle Association and the Association of Cycle Traders, as the two cycle industry trade bodies, have worked together to produce this resource, which very simply shows where these shops are and how their services can be accessed safely and efficiently.”
Retailers are encouraged to confirm their opening status ASAP at www.openbikeshops.uk/trade.
Most shops will find their contact details are auto-completed when they enter their postcode. Then they need to answer one multiple-choice question to confirm their opening arrangements. Opening status can be easily revised later if circumstances change.
Consumers can enter their postcode to see the contact details of confirmed open bike shops in their area.
The ACT is operating the service based around its existing dealer database and map, with the BA adding opening data from major brands and its own trade network of retailers. Both organisations will work to raise awareness of the service in the industry and to the general public.