The latest changes to the Cycle to Work scheme could mean great news for e-bikers and those considering ditching the car and investing in an e-bike for the commute - as the government has outlined plans to make it easier for employers to provide bikes and equipment, including e-bikes, worth over the current £1,000 limit.
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It's hoped that plans outlined in the announcement from Cycling Minister Michael Ellis will help to tackle congestion, reduce emissions and speed up commutes in urban areas. There's also a great financial benefit, with a survey of over 2,000 commuters by Evans Cycles estimating that they could save an average of almost £8,000 over five years by choosing an e-bike instead of the car, bus, tube or train. Ellis 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."
As e-bikes are more often than not over £1,000, the refreshed Cycle to Work will make it easier for employers to offer e-bikes on the scheme by making it clear that FCA-authorised providers are able to run the scheme on their behalf.
It would appear the public are (sort of) on side when it comes to tax breaks for e-bikes - a survey by retailer Halfords has found that 25% would strongly support financial incentives towards the purchase of e-bikes, while 45% would support a specific e-bike grant or subsidy scheme. 11% of bikes Halfords currently sell are e-bikes, and last week they published research that predicted the number of e-bikes sold in the UK is set to grow exponentially.
Cycling UK's Engagement Director Matt Mallinder commented on the changes: “Electric cycles are great way to boost cycle use, reducing congestion, pollution and carbon emissions, allowing people to make journeys that are a bit longer or hillier than they’d otherwise want to cycle.
"Cycling UK hopes the Government’s support will also encourage people who are older, frailer or a bit overweight to discover that they too can enjoy the benefits of cycling for their health, wealth and well-being, and that similar support can soon be offered for those who are not in work too.”
Are you set to benefit from the changes to the Cycle to Work scheme, and do you think it extends far enough? Let us know in the comments.