The UK government has refreshed its Cycle To Work scheme guidance, with the option added to apply it to e-bike purchases. With few e-bikes available at below the old £1000 maximum, the new guidance lets employers’ schemes provide e-bikes and equipment worth over this value.
The Department for Transport says that the changes are being made to promote the increased use of e-bikes to help tackle congestion, speed up commutes and cut travel costs, as well as reduce air pollution in cities.
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Announcing the new Cycle To Work scheme guidance, Cycling Minister Michael Ellis said: “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.”
Ellis also points out that the inclusion of e-bikes means that these benefits will be open to people with a wider range of cycling abilities and with a lower level of fitness.
It’s also likely to be a boon to those who want to cycle to work and live in hillier cities like Bristol.
Figures show that over 1.6m people at 40,000 businesses have already used the existing Cycle To Work scheme, with 62% non-cyclists, novice cyclists or occasional riders before signing up. The government reckons that economic benefits of at least £72m have come from improved physical fitness and associated health benefits, with 49% of users reporting that they joined the scheme to help them keep fit.
Meanwhile, Evans Cycles has recently published a survey of 2000 commuters, which estimated that commuting by e-bike rather than car or public transport could save an average of almost £8000 over five years. Savings on buying a bike can amount to as much as 42%.
Welcoming the new guidance, Adrian Warren, Chair of the Cycle To Work Alliance, which represents 80% of Cycle To Work scheme providers, said: “Cycling to work has extraordinary benefits for the environment, our health and wellbeing, and employer-employee relations, and today’s publication represents a significant step forward in getting more people physically active as part of the government’s ambitions to double cycling activity by 2025.
“The new guidance will also enable more people than ever to participate in cycle to work, including disabled people, people who live further away from work, older workers and those on lower incomes.”