Halfords has announced that it is calling on the Government to introduce new incentives to make it easier for people to use an e-Bike for their daily commute.
Research commissioned by the company has showed that six in ten UK workers are not able to work flexibly, meaning that many of them will be returning to full time commuting. Additionally, a surge in cases has seen one in three workers say they are apprehensive about returning to public transport.
Paul Tomlinson, Halfords Cycling Director, said: “E-bikes can fill a huge hole in our national commuting strategy. We’ve seen demand for e-bikes grow 76% in the past year, but we’re still behind other countries where e-bikes are already making a major contribution to commuting.”
E-Bike sales now represent 17% of all bike sales in the EU, versus 5% in the UK. Halfords has said that it is launching a commuter campaign called Bike Back Better, which will call on the government to:
- Accelerate the roll-out of e-Bike subsidies, outlined in the most recent Cycling and Walking Strategy from the Department for Transport.
- Assess the viability of a UK car-scrappage scheme in return for e-Bike grants
- Incentivise cycling for business travel by bringing HMRC mileage rates for work travel by bike or e-Bike in line with the rate per mile available when using a car.
- Instruct local authorities to require high quality, secure cycle parking infrastructure, with charging points for e-Bikes as a planning requirement for all new residential and commercial developments
- Introduce incentives such as tax relief for small and medium sized businesses installing new bike storage for employees
Tomlinson added: “Many people are put off cycling to work by a steep hill somewhere on the route. E-Bikes provide the oomph you need to navigate those hills with ease.”
Victoria Pendleton, said: “Cycling has seen a massive renaissance over the past 18 months but for people who are less confident or face a tougher commute, an e-Bike really is the perfect solution, especially with people reluctant to use public transport now. I truly believe e-bikes will be a massive part of commuting for the future.”
Halfords is now offering free e-Bike trials in all of its stores. “I’d encourage anyone to try an e-Bike so they can appreciate the benefits of using one for recreation and commuting,” said Pendleton.