Buying and loaning
Many people already have bikes so buying one is not a concern but for others commuting - or wishing to commute - by bike, purchasing or upgrading a bike is the first thing they need to do. They can of course just do this themselves and there are many national and local retailers to chose from however businesses can play a supportive role in cycle purchase thorugh the 'Cycle to Work Scheme'.
In order to help encourage employees to commute to work by bike, businesses could offer the Government supported Cycle to Work scheme. For most organisations, who are not subject to specific internal procedures, the scheme appropriately meets the needs of their business. All public, private and third sector employers can run a cycle to work scheme and there is no minimum or maximum company size requirements
Putting a ‘Cycle to Work Scheme’ in place
Commuting to work by bike is a brilliant way to keep fit, reduce carbon emissions and beat the congestion but some people may be put off by the upfront cost of buying a bike. The Government supported Cycle to Work scheme provides a solution.
Businesses can sign up to the scheme and offer their employees the opportunity to spread the cost of getting a bike and accessories over a set period.
For no cost, minimal administration and within 24 hours employers can set up a scheme to hire bicycles and cycling safety equipment to their employees as a tax-exempt benefit for the purpose of cycling to, from, or at work. DfT's guidance on how to do this is here.
How to get involved
To find out more information about the scheme or to sign up, please contact the members of the Cycle to Work Alliance
Some key points about the scheme
The cycle to work scheme is recognised as an important way to reduce carbon emissions, current users of the scheme save 133,442 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is the equivalent of the total annual CO2 emissions of 24,000 homes or a city larger than Herefor or 76 full Boeing 747s flying around the world - more than the combined fleet of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic's Boeing 747s.
There is a direct health benefit from the scheme, with 87% of participants noticing their health improving, and 84% of users rating the scheme as an important and easy way to keep fit.
The scheme plays an important role in helping new cyclists get started. The research found that 61% of people did not cycle to work before they signed up to the scheme and 70% classed themselves as either novice or occasional cyclists.
The scheme drives trade to the cycling industry, with 76% of participants stating they would not have bought their bicycle if it had not been offered it through the cycle to work scheme.
The financial benefits provided by the scheme are central to its success in delivering behavioural change, with 73% of respondents declaring that the savings they were offered through the scheme were the most important factor in their decision to take part.
The scheme is a powerful employee engagement tool, with 98% of respondents said they would encourage other colleagues to take part in the cycle to work scheme.