Those hoping to claim the Government’s bike repair voucher last night may have been disappointed; such was the demand upon launch that the website crashed.
The £50 token has been widely reported in the national and cycling press and comes at a time when demand for workshops time is already running at a high. Many bicycle stores across the country have a waiting list, some stretching into weeks.
This morning Energy Saving Trust managed website has a notice stating that the first batch, some 50,000 vouchers, have been claimed. The scheme is to be staggered in order that stores are not further overwhelmed with demand.
“Thank you for your interest in the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme. There are no vouchers available right now. Vouchers are being released gradually to reflect the capacity of the bike repairers signed up to the scheme. More vouchers will be made available as soon as possible,” reads the notice.
Last night the website was set to go live at 11.45pm, but some users were greeted with a “error 404” message. For a short while #FixYourBikeVoucherScheme became the top trending topic on Twitter. Some users posted messages stating that nearly two hours of refreshing the page yielded no access.
The website reportedly began working at around 4am this morning.
A cycling Industry News poll of shops found that enthusiasm for the scheme was high, with around 85% stating they were planning to participate upon the initial announcement.
Some of that early enthusiasm appears to have faded since, with workshops remaining busy and store owners either concerned by the additional admin, or that customers will assume £50 to cover the entire bill. Mechanics are asked to photograph and document the repair in order to prevent fraudulent claims.
The bike repair voucher scheme comes as part of the Government’s £2 billion spend on cycling and walking, which has seen much fanfare in the press this week. Analysis of the infrastructure design standards and the questionable mathematics of delivering on “thousands of miles of segregated infrastructure” can be found here.