Cycle to Work Scheme – The time is NOW

13/05/2020

Following the announcement that £250m, part of the first stage of a £2bn investment (of a wider reaching £5bn fund) will be accelerated to setup pop-up bike lanes among other initiatives to aid greener, active transport the Cycle to Work Scheme is very much back on the agenda!

The benefits of regular exercise have been well publicised during the Covid-19 pandemic as has the resulting rush on retailers of bikes, accessories, servicing & repairs (Halfords share price rising from a low of 49.42p in March to 196.60p at time of publication). So far, most of this will have been individuals keen to exercise with a lot making use of additional family time during periods of furlough.

BUT there is a better option & one that has far reaching benefits to employers as well as employees. As accountants our starting point is the headline tax savings, with payroll taxes saved for both employer (13.8%) & employee (up to 42%).

All our work & personal lives have changed significantly over recent months & will continue to be affected for some time to come. One certainty is the need to find alternative means of transport & with British Cycling Chief Executive, Julie Harrington stating ‘It’s time to become a great cycling nation’ the Cycle Path Forward can be ridden with optimism!

Partner at Charnwood Accountant’s, Chris Tadman previously posted guidance along with some of the benefits & these all remain applicable.

Through necessity of changes to how we travel due to continued social distancing initially, we agree with the government & British Cycling that this is our chance as a nation to embrace alternative means of transport, change long standing habits, address preconceptions & create an environment that makes greener, active transport the default option for the majority. Most businesses will not be in a position to influence infrastructure but there is a lot they can do to make this a realistic option for their employees – starting with offering a Cycle to Work Scheme.

What else can businesses do?

  • Provide cloakroom / changing areas as a minimum.
  • Consider installing showers – perhaps with increased remote working there will be surplus desk space that can be utilised?
  • Look at scheme providers that offer FCA authorised schemes for bikes >£1,000 to make e-bikes an option for those where cycling to & from work may be a challenge.
  • Introduce a Workplace Wellness champion & take the introduction of the Scheme as an opportunity to improve the overall health & wellbeing of your workforce!
  • Consider pool schemes to allow flexibility. This could be done alongside (electric) pool cars where car journeys remain essential to carry out certain work.
  • Lobby your local authority for suitable dedicated cycle paths & lanes.

To discuss details of this, or to just talk to us about cycling generally please contact us.

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