Travelling to the workplace? Summer’s on the way and if you’re getting back out of the home office and commuting again, now could be the perfect time to dig your bike out of the garage and swap sitting in traffic for cycling in the sunshine. And thanks to new government initiatives, you could be entitled to a voucher for the cost of sprucing up your old bike.
Data from the Department of Transport has revealed that, during the UK lockdown, cycling levels have risen by 300%. If you’re one of the increasing number who’s taken up cycling, here are some initiatives available to help you save money.
Measures announced to help cyclists
As part of the government’s initiative to reduce capacity on public transport amidst social distancing measures and reduce the number of cars on the road, they’re offering up to half a million £50 vouchers for bikes to be repaired. This is part of a larger £2 billion investment which was announced back in February, known as the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme.
How to take advantage of the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme
Though there is no concrete date yet, it’s expected that the bike vouchers will be available at some point in the summer. Once the scheme goes live, cyclists can use the Energy Saving Trust website to find a list of repair shops and qualified mechanics, and to claim the cost of the repair.
The Department of Transport have so far provided the following summary as to how the scheme is expected to work:
- The bike owner will use the Energy Saving Trust website to find a registered mechanic.
- The bike owner will apply for a voucher.
- The owner will bring the bike to be fixed, using the voucher towards the cost.
- The repairer can claim the cost of the discount (up to £50) back through the Energy Saving Trust Website.
- The Energy Saving Trust will refund the repairer on a weekly basis.
What other help is available to cyclists?
Apart from the £50 voucher scheme, there are a few other incentives available:
The Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy
In the summer, an updated Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy will be launched by the government, with aims to increase the number who cycle and walk by 2025.
Some of the measures announced as part of the scheme include:
- the creation of a national cycling and walking commissioner and inspectorate
- higher standards for permanent infrastructure across England
- getting GPs to prescribe cycling and exercise
- creating a long-term budget for cycling and walking similar to what happens for roads
The Cycle to Work scheme
Not just for permanent employees, the Cycle to Work Scheme is available to help contractors with the cost of purchasing a bike up to the value of £1,000 through their limited company. To find out more about the initiative and how you could benefit, read our Cycle to Work Scheme guide.
With you all the way
If you’re looking for more information about how to make your money go further or what help is available to contractors, our expert team is here to advise. Call us on 0800 464 0381 or drop us a message and we’ll be in touch.