Makes Cycling to Work Even Easier
The UK is set to benefit from a £23 million investment to rejuvenate cycling and walking. Find out more below.
In the Department for Transport’s latest step to drive down emissions and improve safety, Cycling Minister Jesse Norman has announced £21 million to improve the National Cycle Network.
A further £2 million will be spent in an attempt to make cycling and walking the norm by 2040. The government are targeting the funding at innovative ways to encourage people to use a bike or use their feet for shorter journeys.
Plans include specific objectives to double cycling, reduce cycling accidents and increase the proportion of 5 to 10-year olds walking to school by 2025.
The money is to be spent on cycling proficiency training, cycling infrastructure, expanding cycling routes, safety and awareness training and supporting more cycle to work schemes.
The introduction of new cycle networks will help to make cycling more accessible to all. Is it time for you to take to two wheels and make cycling part of your daily commute? By joining a cycle to work scheme, you can join those already on their bikes and save yourself money along the way.
Cycling to work instead of using the car can help you to avoid the costs of fuel and parking; you won’t get stuck in a traffic jam and if you currently use public transport it will save you the cost of ever-rising rail and bus fares. Alongside these benefits, you will feel physically and mentally healthier. Cycling will also help you to cut greenhouse gases and do your bit for the environment.
Don’t have a bicycle?
Good quality bikes and equipment can be costly. The cycle to work scheme is a voluntary benefit offered by employers. Ask your employer to offer the cycle to work scheme to enable you to purchase new bicycles and equipment worth up to £1000 and save up to 50% off the retail price. If your employer doesn’t already have a scheme in place, ask them if they will offer it.
The cycle to work employee benefits scheme will save you money. You simply pay for your bicycle and equipment over a 12 or 18-month period through your salary and at the same time save money on your tax and National Insurance contributions. After this period, you can then pay the remaining balance to transfer the ownership of the bicycle and equipment, similar to a hire purchase but with tax savings.
Riding on the roads?
The government aim to make cycling safer, but there are a few things to consider:
Make sure you are fully visible and protected with all of the essentials – again you can save on these through the cycle to work scheme; including a bell, front and rear lights and a helmet.
If you want to carry things such as a bag, a laptop or your lunch to work, panniers or baskets are available too.
A pump is essential for maintenance, as is a lock to make sure your bike doesn’t disappear after your first journey!
You won’t need any special clothing, but some waterproofs in case it rains are a good investment.