By Jonny Long
The government has just released the latest batch of bicycle repair vouchers, as 150,000 discounts have just been released to the public.
In total, there will be up to half a million £50 vouchers released during the lifetime of the scheme as authorities try to get more people cycling through the coronavirus pandemic.
Registration for the latest batch of 150,000 vouchers re-opened on Thursday, March 11, in the biggest release since the scheme launched in July 2020.
The scheme is only available in England and bike repair business can register to take part if they meet the eligibility requirement (including holding £2 million public liability insurance).
High street bike retailers Evans Cycles and Halfords are both taking part in the scheme, with both offering specific servicing you help cyclists make the most of the unique offering from the government.
How to claim your £50 Fix Your Bike voucher
To claim your voucher, you can visit the Fix Your Bike scheme website here to register for a code. You can then take your bike into a registered by shop to claim your £50 discount on a service.
Evans is offering a Road Ready Service for £35 and you can put the remaining money from the voucher towards and additional parts or repairs.
Halfords customers can visit the Halfords website to book their bike maintenance slot, either before or after they have registered for their voucher. The high street cycling and motoring retailer is offering a free 32-point bike check to assess any repairs, with thousands of slots available across England for customers to bring in their bikes. Once you’ve booked a slot, the Halfords mechanic will carry out a free 32-point check and will diagnose any faults or repairs needed. The store can then carry out the repairs or you can return at a later data. The voucher will be put towards the cost of the repairs.
Now the scheme is up and running, bike owners can find a participating bike shop via the Energy Saving Trust website and can then apply for a voucher.
How the scheme works
- Apply for you voucher on the Fix Your Bike website.
- Find a Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme-registered bike shop to repair your bike using the list of participating bike shops and mechanics.
- Take your bike and voucher code to your chosen store, and receive £50 off the cost of the repair. You should be able to book an appointment online or over the phone so you can avoid making unnecessary trips in person, but check this with your chosen repairer.
Alternatives to the bike repair vouchers
There are also alternatives to the bike vouchers, as charity Cycling UK runs the Big Bike Revival scheme, which provides free repairs to communities across England in pop-up Dr Bike sessions.
James Scott, Cycling UK’s director of behaviour change said: “With winter approaching, having a safe, roadworthy bike is critical if people who took up cycling earlier this year are to feel confident to continue to cycle as the weather gets colder and the days are shorter.
“We are pleased to see the Government has made more of its £50 bike repair vouchers available to help people to go online and get help to continue cycling. There has been great demand for this service, and we are pleased that Cycling UK’s own Big Bike Revival project is continuing to deliver pop-up Dr Bike sessions in more than 200 locations across England to help meet the demand for bike-fixing services.
"The two schemes have complemented each other well, meaning that wherever you live in England, you are not far from a bike shop or a delivery centre a skilled mechanic can help ensure you are ready to continue to enjoy the many benefits of getting back on a bike.”
What is the purpose of the bike repair vouchers?
The government has been trying to encourage more people to cycle during the coronavirus pandemic, in the hopes of reducing congestion on the road.
With people being encouraged to avoid public transport where possible to minimise the risk of exposure to Covid-19, the government has been concerned more people will turn to their cars, increasing traffic on the roads.
But authorities have been implementing measures to get more people cycling, including introducing pop-up cycle lanes, banning traffic from certain streets across England, and releasing funds for cycling and walking projects.
The government said: "The Fix your Bike Voucher Scheme has been set up to encourage more people to embrace cycling as a means of travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and beyond. Cycling is an excellent way to travel while maintaining social distancing.
"The scheme aims to help increase the number of short journeys made by bike rather than private cars. This shift will have huge benefits for:
- the climate
- public health and wellbeing
- road congestion
- air quality."
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.