playing its part
The Cycle the Work scheme promotes active travel to employees and healthy commuting habits.
Active modes of transport are an important way of supporting the mental and physical health of employees across the country.
Active travel saves the NHS considerable amounts of money each year. Evidence suggests it could be as much as £17bn over a 20-year period. The largest cost savings would come through reductions in the expected number of cases of Type 2 Diabetes but the Gear Change strategy highlights more than 20 chronic conditions and diseases it would help with.
University of Glasgow research has also shown cycling to work reduces the incidence of cancer by 45 per cent and heart disease by 46 per cent. It is also clear that the scheme plays an important role in encouraging cycling of those who otherwise would not use a bike. The Office for Tax Simplification found that the 76 per cent of users would not have purchased a bike without a Cycle to Work scheme and 87 per cent of participants had noticed improvements in their health since joining the scheme.
Cycling can help prevent and manage more than 20 chronic conditions and diseases3 in 4
Scheme users join the scheme to improve their mental wellbeing7 in 10
Employers offering the scheme have noticed an improvement in staff health
The scheme is a natural vehicle through which the government can increase employee physical activity. It’s also an effective way to increase electric bike usage, in turn, also increasing employee physical activity.
Cycling, and in particular the Cycle to Work scheme, should be a core part of the government’s approach to encourage physical activity and promote healthier lifestyles. This can be best supported by ensuring the scheme is as accessible as possible so that employees can use bikes to make important commutes.
The Cycle to Work scheme is a great example of how we can help people choose healthier and cleaner forms of transport. Increasing walking and cycling is essential to get more polluting vehicles off our roads and tackle our toxic air crisis.
Senior Policy and Projects Manager, Air Quality at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation