Membership of British Cycling now tops more that 25,000, according to figures released by the organisation yesterday. This represents an increase of 10,000 members since 2005, which marked the beginning of British Cycling’s current funding cycle.

Of the 25,000 current members there are 13,000 racing licence holders, an increase of 4,500 since 2005 and an all-time high since British Cycling’s formation in 1959.

British Cycling’s President Brian Cookson OBE said: “25,000 members and 13,000 licence holders is a real milestone for British Cycling and is a great way to end what has been a fantastic year for us. Our membership is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our volunteers at a national, regional and club level and I would personally thank everyone for the contribution they have made to British Cycling’s growth.”

British Cycling’s figures coincide with the release of results from Sport England’s Active People Survey 2007/08. This survey revealed that 1,767,200 people – or around 4.26% of the population – cycle at least once a week for more than 30 minutes. According to Sport England, this represents an increase of 132,000 people taking to riding a bike since 2005/06 and reveals cycling as the second fastest growing sport in Britain. The figures do not include ‘recreational’ cyclists – those who take part less regularly or ‘utility’ cyclists such as commuters.

Ian Drake, British Cycling’s chief executive designate said: “This is a unique moment in time for cycling, from our success in Beijing in the summer through to the immense number of people getting involved in the sport. When you take cycling as a sport, recreational activity and form of transport it would easily make cycling the number one and fastest growing activity in England.

“However, I believe that this is just the beginning. We are now awaiting confirmation of funding from Sport England to allow us to grow our programmes and to grow the sport even more between 2009 and 2013. With the anticipated support from Sport England combined with our partnership with BSkyB, British Cycling has the potential to make the single biggest contribution to more people playing sport in the run up to London 2012 and beyond.”

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