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30 Jan 2024

An  analysis of almost 380,000 people living in Scotland suggests that commuting by bike reduces the risk of mental ill-health.

30 Jan 2024

A North Yorkshire cycle shop, which has become one of the largest bike businesses in the area, is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary.

30 Jan 2024

For our latest retailer profile, we spoke with Dallas Wiseman from BikeWise & Run, a Ceredigion-based bike shop that has become a hub for cyclists in the region.

30 Jan 2024

New data from market research firm Mintel suggests the UK bicycle market could on the road to recovery, with sales of new bikes set to reach almost £1 billion this year.
Mintel...

25 Jan 2024

With more than 500 cycle businesses having now signed up to its campaign for change to the Cycle to Work scheme, a delegation from the Association of Cycle Traders has met with All Party...

24 Jan 2024

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is taking enforcement action and warning consumers about a brand of e-bike battery – UPP – that has been linked to a number of...

16 Jan 2024

Walton Street Cycles, one of Oxford’s oldest bike shops, has been trading in the city since 1975.
 

16 Jan 2024

ACT Gold Member ICE Trikes has announced a new partnership announcement with British Cycling’s Limitless disability and para-cycling programme. This partnership will help to support the...

15 Jan 2024

An interesting article has appeared in Forbes reflecting many of the issues that ACT members will be experiencing – the challenges and opportunities that are currently...

15 Jan 2024

The Guardian has reported that ministers decided to prioritise driving over active travel because of worries about “15-minute cities”.

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Mary Portas warns government to act now or see half of high street shops shut

Posted on in Business News , Cycles News

Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this week, retail expert Mary Portas called on the Government to rethink business rates and VAT to help struggling retailers.

She said: “Put simply we could lose half of all shops. We need to look at the systems they are currently working under, because they are not fit for purpose for the future.

Row of Bikes

“So VAT, business rates, all of it needs to be looked at. We need to look at the bigger picture and how people want, and need to live, in the future – for the good of themselves and the planet.”

In 2011, she published a report stating the aim was to “put the heart back into the centre of our high streets, calling on the authorities to re-imagine them “as destinations for socialising, culture, health, wellbeing, creativity and learning.” But she says nothing has changed in the past decade and without more support thousands of small shops will be lost during the cost-of-living crisis.

“It’s no different now to 11 years ago when I brought out my report,” she says. “As for big business and governments, people don’t trust them, they’ve had enough. We want what’s local, what’s safe and what we can trust.”

She added: “What’s inspiring, but at the same time frustrating, is everything I wrote in my report more than a decade ago, about how important high streets are to our society and our daily lives, is the same.

“They’re more important than what is being sold to us. People, particularly post-Covid, realise how important they are to their wellbeing and how they live. Having thriving high streets we can walk or cycle to for our daily needs is vital to our future.”

She praised “incredible independents” which make up 90% of high street businesses but admitted frustration because “all we talk about are big businesses”.

She said: “Small businesses have been hugely successful, and we need them to succeed. When it comes to budgets and government spending, I believe it needs to be about prioritising. And I happen to think we should prioritise the wellbeing of society.”

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