At the beginning of May, the UK Government announced plans as part of a £250 million emergency active travel fund, the first stage of a £2 billion package to help boost greener and more active transport.
During the COVID-19 pandemic the UK has seen more people walking and cycling and the UK Government want to help make these more viable means of transport beyond the pandemic. Not to mention that social distancing measures on public transport have reduced capacity to around a 10th of what it was previously.
Following the announcement of this new funding, Halfords saw their share price increase by 25% in the first day as the popularity of cycling was set to see an even greater increase across the country.
So, what does this mean for the cycle to work scheme? And what does this mean for businesses?
Well, in short, it presents a huge opportunity for businesses up and down the UK.
What does this mean for cycling in the UK?
This new investment comes following a surge in popularity of cycling as well as the need to reduce public transport usage as the UK Government looks to manage capacity safely as part of its response to the Coronavirus.
A statement on the UK Government website regarding the announcement states:
“Following unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the UK during the pandemic, the plans will help encourage more people to choose alternatives to public transport when they need to travel, making healthier habits easier and helping make sure the road, bus and rail networks are ready to respond to future increases in demand.”
With this new investment, more roads will be made available for buses and bikes only to make cycling safer and easier.
Pop-up emergency bike lanes will be introduced with protected space for cycling while pavements will be made wider and junctions made safer, all in the very near future.
The UK Government will fund and work with local councils and authorities to create new cycle routes and lanes to make getting around on a bike much easier.
Local authorities will also be encouraged to reallocate road space for cyclists and pedestrians in an effort to give people more options when it comes to cycling or walking.
All of these changes hope to promote walking and cycling as a more viable way of getting around as opposed to public transport while helping reduce Co2 emissions and helping to improve people’s physical and mental health.
What does all this mean for businesses?
This new investment presents a huge opportunity for employers to help staff take advantage of these new changes by introducing the Cycle to Work Scheme.
Cycling to work will be made much easier and much more viable and there has already been a huge increase in demand for the scheme both from employees and employers.
Why it’s the perfect time for the cycle to work scheme
For employees cycling to work, they’ll need a bike capable of handling the daily commute which comes at a slightly higher cost. With a cycle to work scheme, not only can staff spread the cost and pay through salary sacrifice, they’ll also save up to 42% (32% for standard rate taxpayers, 42% for higher rate).
It also helps staff avoid taking a big hit to their bank balance by allowing them to spread the cost interest free over a set period.
Furthermore, that monthly cost will be in many cases somewhat offset by savings in fuel or public transport costs depending on the length of commute.
For many, cycling to work will be a brand-new endeavour, and so accessories such as a bike helmet and other safety equipment will also be needed, which can also be purchased through the cycle to work scheme.
Many of those looking to cycle to work will be drawn in by the ever-increasing appeal of e-bikes. Thanks to the removal of the £1,000 limit on the cycle to work scheme last year and the increasing production and popularity of e-bikes, the cycle to work scheme makes getting your hands on a brand-new e-bike easier than ever.
E-bikes are perfect for commuting too, particularly for beginners. They’re much easier on the legs and make commuting quick and easy, helping improve work-life balance too by cutting those commuting times.
With more people up and down the country looking to cycle to work, it becomes more important to offer the scheme to staff. Companies need to be prepared to resume growth once the job market gets back on its feet and offering the cycle to work scheme as a benefit to new staff could be hugely important.
For the full benefits of the cycle to work scheme, check out our cycle to work scheme page.
The benefits of cycling to work
There are loads of benefits to cycling to work! Here are just some of the benefits that those who are embracing cycling will experience.
There’s more on our ’10 reasons to cycle to work’ blog.
A new era for cycling
The nation is set to embrace cycling and so it’s the perfect time for businesses to do the same!
There are endless benefits to the cycle to work scheme for both businesses and staff. The ever-increasing popularity of cycling which is set to increase further has boosted the popularity of the cycle to work scheme dramatically too.
For businesses, if ever there was a time to introduce the cycle to work scheme it’s now.
For the latest info on how caboodle are helping businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic, take a look at our COVID-19: how we can help page.