The number of employees who joined the Cycle to Work scheme has more than doubled as more people are making plans to return to the workplace.
As more people begin to return to work, there have been growing concerns about the safety of public transport as lockdown is eased, therefore there has been an increased emphasis on the importance of cycling as we move forward.
The Cycle to Work scheme that was launched by the government in 1999 to promote healthier and less polluting journeys, allows commuters to obtain bicycles and cycling equipment tax-free through salary sacrifice.
New data from the Cycle to Work Alliance, that is made up of the leading cycling providers, has shown that in June 2020 there was a 120% increase in the number of people joining the scheme.
In June 2020, 37,754 employees obtained a bike through the scheme compared to 17,071 in June 2019.
The Alliance is, therefore, calling on the government to support this shift by extending the scheme to include the self-employed.
Adrian Warren, chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance, said: ‘UK workers are ready to embrace cycling like never before. As lockdown measures ease, we want the scheme to support as many people as possible to return to work safely.
‘Already we have seen that the scheme is the natural option for employees wanting to get to work safely. That’s why we’re calling on the government to widen access to the scheme for self-employed workers.
‘This will ensure more people can actively travel to work and help avoid a spike in people commuting by car or overcrowded public transport after lockdown. Like employees, the self-employed often need to travel to work, and cycling should be the default option for many people.
‘We should be doing all we can to encourage the significant shift towards cycling that’s taking place across the country and widening the scheme to include self-employed workers is such a simple, easy solution.’
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