Cycle to Work Alliance, 80 Petty France, London SW1H 9EX

Cycle to Work Alliance call on government to increase the scheme limit to open up access to electric bikes

12 MARCH 2018

The Cycle to Work Alliance is today calling on government to update the Cycle to Work Scheme to make electric bikes more accessible through the initiative.

The Alliance – formed of the four main providers of the scheme – is calling for the existing £1,000 scheme limit for bikes and safety equipment to be lifted to £2,500 for electric bikes. The Alliance has today set out its commitment to work with government to enable this change.

The Alliance will set out its vision for a renewed scheme at a joint event in the Houses of Parliament with the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group looking at how to maximise the electric bike opportunity in the UK. The Alliance will outline the opportunity to update the scheme to ensure cyclists from all walks of life can access electric bikes.

The scheme is a proven and popular mechanism for achieving behaviour change and enabling people to regularly commute to work by bike. Expanding the scheme to make it easier to access electric bikes would make commuting over longer distances easier, spread the cost of the bike across a twelve-month period, and maximise the health and wellbeing benefits of commuting by bike.

The current cost of a good quality commuter electric bike is often beyond the reach of those who would benefit the most, including those with disabilities, older workers, and those with lower incomes. The current scheme limit restricts access to the full range of electric bikes through the initiative.

The Alliance’s intervention follows comments from the Cycling Minister Jesse Norman last year that the Department for Transport was considering how uptake of electric bikes could be encouraged, including considering the role of subsidies.

Steve Edgell, Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance, said:

“The Cycle to Work Scheme has already helped over half a million people commute to work by bike. We now want to build on this success and futureproof the scheme by opening it up much more widely for electric bikes.

“The benefits of electric bikes are clear, in particular for those demographic groups who may not currently feel confident about cycling and for those who live further away from work. The scheme is the simplest and most effective mechanism for making electric bikes affordable and accessible.

“A good quality electric bike suitable for commuting regularly remains at a relatively high price point, above the £1,000 scheme limit. We’re keen to continue working with the Department for Transport and the Treasury to make the case that the scheme is the most effective mechanism to encourage electric bikes.”

Ruth Cadbury MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, said:

“Electric bikes are a great opportunity to get more people cycling, and particularly those who wouldn’t otherwise cycle.  

The government needs to consider ways it can help people access electric bikes, and the Cycle to Work Scheme could be one method of achieving this.”

Andrew Selous MP, Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, said:

“There is a clear opportunity for electric bikes to increase participation in cycling, and it is important that government and industry work together to ensure people can access good quality electric bikes.

“There are a number of ways this can be achieved, either through community loan schemes or through the Cycle to Work Scheme, that should be given further thought”.

Attendees will hear from Ruth Cadbury MP, Chair of the APPCG; Steve Edgell, Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance; Will Butler Adams, Managing Director of Brompton; and Laura Dyett, Behavioural Insights Team at Transport for London.

Parliamentarians and other guests will then be given the opportunity to test an electric bike for themselves, with a range of commuter standard electric bikes available.