Cycle to Work guidance refreshed to include e-bikes

The government has announced refreshed guidance for its Cycle to Work scheme which will make it easier for employers to provide bicycles and equipment, including e-bikes, worth over £1,000.

First introduced by the government 20 years ago, Cycle to Work schemes have enabled thousands of commuters to by bike to their place of work through allowing employees to save money on a new bike through a salary sacrifice scheme.

The refreshed guidance will make it clear that FCA authorised third party providers are able to the scheme on the behalf of employers. You can find the refreshed guidance online.

Charities Cycling UK and Sustrans have joined other pro-cycling bodies in praising the long-awaited move.

Prior to yesterday’s announcement, the scheme was officially capped at £1,000. Now, the refreshed guidance is encouraging the use of e-bikes in a bid to help tackle congestion, speed up commutes and cut travel costs.

Michael Ellis, Cycling Minister, said: “Cycling is a vital and easy way to improve air quality, reduce pollution and create vibrant towns and cities. Making sure that bikes are easily available is crucial to helping more people make the switch to greener modes of transport. Ensuring people of all abilities and fitness levels can cycle together is a key part of this.

“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.”

A recent survey commissioned by Evans Cycles estimates that by switching from car, bus, tube or train to e-bikes, commuters could save an average of £7,791 over five years.

This refreshed Cycle to Work guidance is the latest development in the government’s plans to encourage more people to take up active travel options. Through its Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, the government plans to invest around £2 billion on active travel over the course of this parliament.

In September last year, a YouGov poll of British Workers demonstrated that 20% would be interested in buying an electric bike, if the ceiling of the cycle to work scheme were raised to allow tax savings. Cycling groups and MPs debated raising the £1,000 ceiling on the scheme in place for some providers, showing the increasing demand for the inclusion of e-bikes for commuting.

Last year there were hints that an update to cycle to work was on the cards, and other firms had found ways to side step the £1,000 limit, including the Green Commute Initiative.

 

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Hayley Everett

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