Name change - London Cyclist

Apologies if I'm missing this discussion elsewhere on the site but I've pushed the limits of my IT skills getting this far.

As a newbie I'm neutral on the name change and reading the varied postings on the old Issues forum has been helpful and informative.  Looking at Ashok's pieces in the last 2 issues of London Cyclist he identifies a series of problems:

1. Given the number of people who cycle in London membership should be more than 11,000;

2. Only having 11,000 members limits campaigning influence;

3. Only having 11,000 members risks financial stability.

If the problem is the number of members and the name is one of a series of changes intended to encourage more cyclists to join, is there a target for that number [Double Your Voice?] and is it the same number for campaigning influence and financial stability?            

How does the current membership, and the target number, compare to other, similar organisations?

Nick TITTLE, Richmond Cycling Campaign

Replies

  • By jimw at 12:21pm 14 June 2011

I also couldn't find the name change discussed elsewhere.

My view is that whatever we as members prefer as a name is less important than what the name communicates to prospective members and the public at large.  As such, I assume we have marketing folks working for us who have researched this, and I'm prepared to back their recommendation.

Finally, on the BBC news last week there was a topic that discussed the Blackfriars Bridge issue. The piece ended with the reporter saying "London Cycling Campaign is against the changes." If the reporter had instead said "London Cyclists are against the changes," I think this would have had more of a 'grassroots' feel to it.

 

I really don;t care what LCC calls itself if it leads to more poeple joining and feeling part of something.  London Cyclists says it as it is.

As for numbers, how about a swift poll online to find out how many current members also have families?  Assuming a balance of members with kids and singletons, I would guess the 11,000 probably represents more like 33,000 actual cycling adults and children and maybe 16,000 voting adults. 

The next thing to then find out is where the 16,000 live as it's will only take a very few of us to turn some unsafe seats and wards from one party to the next.  That's the point at which London Assembly Members had better take note.

Adam

 

"The piece ended with the reporter saying "London Cycling Campaign is against the changes." If the reporter had instead said "London Cyclists are against the changes," I think this would have had more of a 'grassroots' feel to it."

 

Disagree. The point here is that LCC did get into the the news with its current name. I was talking to a journalist recently, who said he would be much more likely to ask for an opinion from an organisation called London Cycling Campaign than from one called London Cyclists, because the latter name does not make immediately clear what the organisation is about.

The name London Cyclists is weak and anodyne and conveys nothing. Keep it LCC.

 

David

Vole O"Speed

  • By Andy at 2:01pm 15 June 2011

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@JMW. You don’t have to be a journalist yourself (though I am one) to know that the reporter would not be allowed to use the “London Cyclists” name on its own. Imagine if you set up an organisation called “Young Mothers” and reported that “Young Mothers are against….” No, it wouldn’t pass because it would look like an assertion, and reporters are supposed to be objective. In order to avoid that, the reporter would be obliged to say, “The campaigning organisation, London Cyclists, is against …” or “London Cyclists, a body representing cyclists in the capital, is against…” or other formulations. If you say “London Cycling Campaign” there is no need for further explanation. The change to “London Cyclists” has been advertised as simplifying things. I think it will do the opposite, quite apart from the major issue which is that, to those who are not already cyclists, the word “Cyclist” has some negative connotations. The word “Cycling” does not.  

<!--EndFragment-->

I couldn't find any other location to put views about the proposed name change, nor any details about why the change is proposed. I'd like to know why not.

I can understand that the 'Campaign' word can be a turn off for some people - it implies maybe that membership requires some work/ time/ effort.

While I am happy (well, sometimes) to put in effort campaigning I appreciate that lots of people aren't. Some people really don't mind telling tell me what I could be doing on their behalf! - stuff that they could do themselves.  

Therefore I'm not against the proposed name change if it, as anticipated, helps to increase membership. I note that a number of LCC groups already have a similarly styled name - Southwark Cyclists, Lambeth Cyclists, Greenwich Cyclists, Hammersmith & Fulham Cyclists, Barnet Cyclists, who apparently prefer 'Cyclists'. I accept that 'Cyclists' describes who we are rather that what we do, but I rather like that.

When designing some T-shirts for the Kingston Group we made a decision to use 'Kingston Cycling' rather than Kingston Cycling Campaign, partly because of the brevity but also because it's about what we want rather than the name of the group. Subconsciously I think we also recognised that 'Campaign' wasn't attractive or a bit too 'worthy' for non group members. It really hasn't affected our campaigning. If anything we do much more campaigning now.

Regards

Jon Fray,   Kingston www.kingstoncycling.org.uk

 

 

 

  • By robl at 7:15pm 15 June 2011

Just wanted to post a link to the consultation form here if borough groups do not already have one:

To complete the form and read the background information:

http://tinyurl.com/lccrename

The deadline for responses is Monday 27th June.

Even if you have no opinion, it would be useful if you could say so on the form.

 

Rob

 

Discussed this at our monthly on Monday and got, I guess, a typical spread of opinion:

For the change: "Campaign puts people off", "Cyclists better reflects the range of what we do, led rides and maintenance workshops".

Against the change: "We are a campaigning group, trying to change things, we should emphasise it more not less"

Neutral: "Will the name encourage more people to join?", "Does it actually make any difference?"

Apparently CTC, national group, have 60odd000, don't know what that is as a % of cycling population, if that's measured.

Interested to see the outcome of the Borough consultation.

Nick, Richmond CC

  

  • By Spy at 9:11pm 26 June 2011

I am for a name change. Using a name like "London Cyclists" will attract more members.

 

Having "Campaign" in the name puts people off thinking they are signing up for some political or activist group. I think everyone would support the activities of the club with regard to campaigning for the rights of cyclists in London but don't necessarily want to be part of something that sounds more politicial.

 

A little like the AA, which campaigns for motorists but doesn't scare people away.

 

"London Cyclists" gets my vote

 

 

I think it is a bad idea.

Having the word campaign in the name shows we are a group with serious objectives.

Without it London Cyclists sounds like a group of people sharing an interest - like the London Morris Minor Owners for example.  

I don't like the drift to such things as "led" rides where people turn up a car park with ther bikes loaded on the car then set off on a leisure ride.

We should concentrate on making the bike a serious piece of the transport and lobbying for the infrastructure to support that.

Yes, we may get more members with a family friendly name and softer agenda but do we really want those members?

The same thing happened to SusTrans - it started out as a campaign for sustainable tranport now it is just a provider of carparks for 4x4s where you unload your bikes and go nowhere backwards and forwards on old rail tracks.

Went to Radio Jackie on Sunday to record an interview about a problem junction in our Borough.  Spoke to the travel news reporter afterwards, a woman in her mid 20s: "Are you cyclist? No.  Do you cycle? Oh yes, I often cycle round Richmond Park. What were you thinking when I said cyclist? Lycra, racing, Tour de France, you know."  

Nick, Campaigns co-ordinator, Richmond

  • By LMC at 8:24pm 19 July 2011

I read all the above with interest. I favour removing 'campaign' for reason captured above, and am relaxed about what replaces it, subject to two points;

  • the replacement name brand and message is market tested, focus groups etc to ensure that it is appealing to members and credible to decision makes

  • make a decision quickly and just get on with it.

Consultation with members welcome and important – being an outward facing organisation focussed on influencing positives changes even more important!



  • By mike_c at 1:03am 6 August 2011

@I don't like the drift to such things as "led" rides where people turn up a car park with ther bikes loaded on the car then set off on a leisure ride.

That's certainly not the definition of a led ride.

LCC local groups organise rides all over Greater London every week - many hundreds each year. Many people enjoy the company and extra security these afford, and I've personally never heard of someone arriving by car (though I can't promise it never happens). 

As it happens, there's also demand from organisations such as the GLA and local councils to have led rides.

Occasionally LCC meets this demand by running rides for people, and we earn money for this.

So ultimately we're encouraging cycling, and earning money that can fund campaigning.

This is only a small source of our income, but it's a sensible one nonetheless, and has nothing to do with encouraging car use - quite the opposite

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