Commuters will have more opportunities to boost their health, benefit the environment and speed up their journey to work, thanks to the updated Cycle to Work guidance.
Cycling Minister Michael Ellis recently announced a refreshed Cycle to Work scheme which could help many more commuters turn to greener journeys using e-bikes, 70,000 of which were sold in the UK last year.
E-bikes have an integrated motor that helps a cyclist pedal, allowing them to reach speeds of up to 15.5 mph in the UK. They are seen as a game changer for their potential to make it easier for older or less fit people to make cycling a part of their commute.
The refreshed guidance will make it easier for employers to provide bicycles and equipment including e-bikes worth over £1,000, by making it clear that FCA authorised third party providers are able to run the scheme on their behalf.
Michael Ellis, Cycling Minister, said: “Cycling is a vital and easy way to improve air quality, reduce pollution and create vibrant towns and cities.
“Making sure that bikes are easily available is crucial to helping more people make the switch to greener modes of transport. Ensuring people of all abilities and fitness levels can cycle together is a key part of this.
“I want everyone to feel empowered to make cycling a part of their everyday lives, and our refreshed guidance provides many incentives to help people do this.”
First introduced by the government 20 years ago, Cycle to Work schemes have helped thousands of people clean up their commute.
They promote cleaner, healthier journeys to and from work by allowing employees to save money on a new bike or accessories via a salary sacrifice scheme.
As well as boosting air quality and reducing emissions, the refreshed guidance could also make daily commutes cheaper. A recent survey of 2,000 commuters (commissioned by Evans Cycles) estimated that by switching from car, bus, tube or train to e-bikes, commuters could save an average of £7,791 over five years.
The Cycle to Work guidance is the latest development in the government’s plans to get more people taking up active travel options.
Through the Cycling and walking investment strategy, the government will invest around £2 billion on active travel over the course of this Parliament – doubling spending per head compared to the last Spending Review period.
Lawrence Boon, Product Director, Cycle to Work Scheme at Hawk Incentive, the UK’s leading provider of the Cycle to Work scheme here in the UK commented: “The announcement by the Department for Transport on the removal of the maximum spending cap is huge news for employees and employers alike. We believe it will take the cycle scheme into a whole new exciting phase and make bike ownership more attractive and accessible than ever before to hard to reach audiences.
“We are delighted with the announcement by the Department for Transport to remove the cap on the Cycle to Work Scheme. More and more feedback from our clients over recent years is that the cap is too low and does not fall in line with inflation. By removing the cap, your employees can not only purchase an adequate bike, but could also purchase an electronic bike opening the scheme up to those who have a longer commute to work.
“Research has proven that employees who cycle to work are far more productive and have a much better workplace attitude. But it’s not just the people and business that benefits, it’s also the environment – and could even help to elevate busy car parks.
“The Government’s new Cycle to Work Scheme guidance means more people than ever can benefit and we are delighted for our customers and urge them to share the news with their employees.”
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