Covid-19 pandemic has already seen fundamental changes
The Covid-19 pandemic has already seen fundamental changes to the way many of us live our lives and will inevitably lead to difficult questions about the future being asked sooner rather than later. In this climate, the historic vehicle industry faces its toughest challenge yet to prove its worth, so the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) is urging enthusiasts to step forward and fight for the cause by taking part in its 2020 National Historic Vehicle Survey.
HAVE YOUR SAY
The survey was launched last month and covered in our July 15 issue, but more still needs to be done. The FBHVC is keen to encourage as many enthusiasts as possible to respond to help safeguard the industry and our freedoms to use historic vehicles on the road. The responses given generate important insights on the sector, which in turn shape the future focus of the FBHVC and thus benefit the entire historic vehicle movement. Indeed, the Federation’s last National Historic Vehicle Survey in 2016 really emphasised the importance of the historic vehicle movement for Britain, revealing that it’s worth a whopping £5.5bn to the economy each year and directly supports employment for over 34,000 people.
The next survey was originally scheduled for 2021, but the widespread cancellation of events due to the coronavirus pandemic has brought it forward. It’s a wide-ranging survey, because while the phrase ‘historic vehicle’ in this context means all vehicles that are at least 30 years old, it covers cars, motorcycles, buses, coaches, lorries, vans, agricultural, steam and military vehicles. There are also questions for vehicles produced between 1991 and 2000.
“We have had over 5000 responses so far, but that is not enough – we know the community is bigger than that,” said FBHVC Communications Director, Wayne Scott. “We’d especially like to hear more from young owners – we know there are some out there – and the owners of marques and models that have newly been classed as historic.”
Wayne pointed out a couple of recent instances that highlight the threat the sector faces. The Yorkshire Post recently quoted Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, as saying: “I’m sorry internal combustion engine fans, I think its days are overall likely to be numbered.” In addition, a local authority in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, recently debated a motion to cancel its historic vehicle rally and parade, which was fortunately defeated.
“We have a fight on our hands, with the threat to our freedoms to use our historic vehicles on the roads increasing,” added Wayne. “As a sector, it’s absolutely critical that we can present MPs and others in UK Government with hard evidence of the benefit we bring to the UK economy, the size of our movement and its importance to our cultural heritage. We are basically asking you if you think 20 minutes of your time is worthwhile to protect our way of life. If it is, then please use it to complete the survey. The results will give us the tools to win that fight.”
The 2020 National Historic Vehicle Survey is open now and closes on October 12, 2020. To take part, head to www.fbhvc.co.uk/2020- enthusiast-survey and base your responses on your activities during the 2019 season. On submission, you will be given the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win either a year’s club insurance policy to the value of £250, one of three pairs of tickets for the 2020 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, or one of 15 display copies of the Federation’s historic vehicle chart.