Camcycle Member Survey: The Results

This article was published in 2019, in Magazine 143.

Number of years survey respondents had been members of Camcycle.
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Thanks to all who completed our Camcycle member survey – we had over 200 responses (17% of members), enabling us to get a good picture of members’ views on our work. Respondents were a good mix of recent and long-term members, the latter reminding us of aspects missing from the survey, for example the popular mudguard stickers and weekly stall outside the Guildhall which were successful in increasing membership in our early years. Nearly half of respondents (44%) signed up online, but many couldn’t remember how they joined. Word of mouth is our most important tool in raising awareness of Camcycle – so spread the word! – but all our activities gained attention with social media, perhaps surprisingly, being least likely to be the place members first hear about us.

How did members hear about Camcycle?
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Why you support our work

Local decision-makers may often underestimate the benefits of cycling, but it’s clear that members understand just what prioritising cycling could do for our city. Your top motivations for supporting Camcycle are about making Cambridge a nicer place to be and your journeys more enjoyable (who could argue with that?).
You most value the amount and range of work we do, the influence we have on decision-makers and being kept updated with the latest cycling news. Over half of you (54%) also valued the changes you could see in your area as a result of our work. Although 49% of you had used member discounts at a local bike shop, less than a fifth of respondents agreed they were an important part of the reason they were a Camcycle member. One member told us, ‘I’m a supporter, not a customer.’

Members’ support our work because they:

  • Believe increasing cycling is important for tackling issues like congestion and air pollution (65%)
  • Would like to improve cycling infrastructure to make their journeys more pleasant (59%)
  • Believe increasing cycling will make Cambridge a nicer place to live and work (53%)

Our communications

Nearly all respondents (96%) felt well-informed about Camcycle’s work and rated our communications highly, with the quarterly magazine topping the list. 91% had read the magazine and over half of respondents told us it was their most valued member benefit, with many appreciating the chance to read news in a printed form. Some members regretted the move away from a bi-monthly publication, although also acknowledged the reasons behind it, with one member admitting, ‘it’s not me doing the work so I can’t legitimately complain’.

Although email (72%) was the preferred way to receive Camcycle news, respondents liked the variety of communication channels and the chance to stay updated no matter which method they preferred. One member told us that Cyclescape was ‘frankly a work of genius’, but it was also the method of communication most people found difficult, with many other respondents sharing their frustrations on logging in, receiving Cyclescape updates by email and finding the information they needed. Despite these issues, the most important finding was that our communications made you take action – 97% of respondents agreed that Camcycle kept them updated about local cycling news and consultations and, as a result 75% had responded to a public consultation and 41% had written to their MP or local councillor.

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Actions Camcycle members have taken as a result of our communications.
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Your involvement with Camcycle

Time is an issue – for you and for us – with 90% saying they don’t currently volunteer because they don’t have time to do so (sorry to disappoint the respondent who said we should invest in a time machine so they could do three things at once!). One member found it disappointing that we couldn’t campaign on issues they’ve raised and another said we didn’t get back to their offer to volunteer: proof perhaps that we’re juggling as much as you are and don’t always succeed. Despite time pressures, 40% of respondents would be interested in getting involved with our campaigns for better infrastructure and one member thought we should be more proactive – helping to educate architects and developers to balance out our many objections to planning applications.

Of those who do volunteer, 93% said they found it rewarding, but it’s clear we could do more to help our volunteers find fulfilment in their work and feel welcomed into our organisation. You told us you’d like us to be more friendly and inclusive, to avoid being smug or dismissive of your concerns and to value the less confident people among our membership. The communications about ourselves are also important – although there were strong levels of confidence in the staff and trustees, only 38% of respondents could name three of us. Less than a quarter knew how to apply to become a trustee themselves although several of you would be interested in getting involved in this way.

Top 10 organisations members are involved with:

  • Cycling UK (51%)
  • Sustrans (49%)
  • Smarter Cambridge Transport (13%)
  • CTC Cambridge (10%)
  • British Cycling (9%)
  • Cambridge Triathlon Club (4%)
  • Waterbeach Cycling Campaign (4%)
  • Ely Cycling Campaign (3%)
  • A10 Corridor Cycle Campaign (3%)
  • Cambridge Cycle Club (2%)

Your cycling life

Given our focus on everyday cycling, it’s no surprise that 98% of survey respondents cycle for utility reasons but some members told us we should also cover other forms of cycling. One in eight took part in mountain biking and sport cycling, and 9% were members of British Cycling as well as Camcycle. Over half were also members of national charity Cycling UK.

All our survey respondents were over 25 and none was a student. Over a third had children under 18 within their household and this was reflected in the types of cycle they owned: 36% owned a trailer, 23% owned a tandem or triplet and 21% owned a cargo bike. 70% of respondents also owned and drove a car.

What’s next?

We created the survey to inform our plans for the future and help us make the best use of resources. We’ll be using your responses to help us identify areas to improve. Your responses on our values will help direct our manifesto and policy work: a project that will empower more people to get involved in our campaigning.

We’ll try to keep doing well on the things that you like and changing and improving the things that you’ve told us we can be better at. If you’ve said we can contact you, we may be in touch about further ways you can share your views, but remember that this survey was anonymised – if you’ve given us a great idea, but not your email address, please get in touch so we can work on it together.

Anna Williams