Switching Gears: Cycle to Work Scheme drives change through pedal power
The Cycle to Work Scheme saves an estimated £388.2 million per year for commuters across the UK, according to a major survey of 7,000 scheme users conducted by the Cycle to Work Alliance.
To date, over 500,000 people have obtained a bicycle through the Cycle to Work Scheme. The recent survey found that scheme users saved an average of £776 a year on their commute and cycled an average 38.8 miles a week.
Respondents to the survey said that the Cycle to Work Scheme helps them be more active and fit exercise into their daily routine, with 67 per cent of respondents saying they cycled more since joining the scheme.
A further 70 per cent said that they were driving less since taking up the scheme. Not only does this have an impact on their health, it also helps reduce congestion and air pollution.
Overwhelmingly, employers feel that the scheme is an important employee benefit to offer and that it yields positive results for their organisation and their staff. 63.5 per cent said the scheme had a positive impact on staff health and 44 per cent said that the scheme helped increase staff engagement.
Steve Edgell, Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance, said:
“This research proves, once again, the huge value of the Cycle to Work Scheme to both employees and employers. The benefits of the scheme are clear – improving health in the workplace, increasing productivity and saving employees money on their commute.
“With a greater focus than ever on the importance of employers promoting employee wellbeing and health, it is clear from a business perspective that the scheme is making a big contribution in these areas.
“The next step is to look at how we can expand access to the Cycle to Work Scheme, for example by improving access to electric bikes under the scheme, so people that live further from their workplaces can also access these benefits.”
Notes to Editors
- The Cycle to Work Alliance is a group of the leading providers of the Cycle to Work Scheme, including Cyclescheme, Cycle Solutions, Evans Cycles and Halfords.
- The Cycle to Work Alliance seeks to raise awareness of the role played by the Cycle to Work Scheme in encouraging people to take up cycling, and promote its role in meeting the government’s public health and sustainable transport policy objectives.
- The Cycle to Work Initiative is a tax-efficient and, on the whole, salary-sacrificed employee benefit that provides a way of encouraging more adults to take up cycling. Introduced in the 1999 Finance Act, the scheme encourages employers to loan bicycles and cycling safety equipment to employees as a tax-exempt benefit for the purpose of cycling to work. Under the scheme, employers buy cycling equipment from suppliers approved by their scheme administrator and hire it to their employees. At the end of the loan period, the employer may choose to give the employee the option to purchase the equipment.
- The scheme operates nationwide and, since its introduction, over 500,000 individuals have participated in the scheme.
- In July 2017, the Cycle to Work Alliance conducted a survey of scheme users and employers who offer the Cycle to Work Scheme to their employees. In total, there were 6,972 responses to the employee survey and 226 responses to the employer survey.
- Key findings from the survey include:
- Over half of respondents (59.3 per cent) joined the scheme to spread the cost and 42 per cent were attracted by the savings that the scheme offers - on average the amount saved is £64.7 per month (£776 per year);
- 64 per cent of scheme users did not class themselves as ‘enthusiastic’ cyclists before taking up the scheme;
- 67 per cent of respondents said that they cycled more since joining the scheme - participants of the scheme cycle 38.8 miles per week and 70.3 per cent are driving less since joining the scheme;
- Over half of employers (56 per cent) feel that the scheme is an important employee benefit;
- 1 per cent of employers offer the scheme in order to improve staff wellbeing and two thirds of employers (63.5 per cent) said that the Cycle to Work Scheme has a positive impact on staff health;
- 44 per cent said that it increased staff engagement.