“We’re ready”, stores say on second batch of bike repair vouchers

A CyclingIndustry.News poll of bike shops has revealed the majority of bike shops feel ready for the release of the second batch of £50 bike repair vouchers.

At a ratio of eight for to one against, bike shops participating suggest that they are happy for the second batch to be released in to the marketplace with workshop lead times having reduced to manageable levels.

Though the poll originally started with only affirmative and negative answers, shops later added options of their own; one asking whether the supply chain was indeed ready to meet demand for repairs, rather than whether bike shops themselves were well positioned. A shortage on repair staples such as tyres and tubes has been widely commented upon with suppliers rushing to fill gaps as they emerge.

Further to that, a larger portion of shops expressed that they are glad not to have participated, citing the payment experiences of those who did. During September, CI.N reported on significant discontent among shops, many of whom were waiting three weeks or more to receive payment, while others latterly had their insurance validity called in to question having already serviced vouchers.

When pressed on the timing of the release of the second batch late last week, the Department for Transport told CI.N simply “We don’t have an update as yet, we will keep you in the loop.”

The update prior offered: “The next tranche of bike repair vouchers will be made available when the market allows.”

At present, the DfT has declined to reveal how it is measuring the appropriate time for a second release.

People successful in scooping the first batch had 60 days to book a repair slot and another 60 days for that slot to take place. The first batch was released on July 28th late in the evening, with the site charged with handling the demand crashing under the demand load.