This week, the government has announced that it will be funding a £94 million pound initiative to support the promotion of cycling in England. Eight cities and four national parks across the country will share the benefits of improvements to existing cycle routes and the creation of new ones.
The introduction of new cycle networks will help to make cycling more accessible to all. Is it time for you to take to two wheels and make cycling part of your daily commute? By joining a cycle to work scheme, you can join those already on their bikes and save yourself money along the way.
Cycling to work instead of using the car can help you to avoid the costs of fuel and parking; you won’t get stuck in a traffic jam and if you currently use public transport it will save you the cost of ever-rising rail and bus fares. Alongside these benefits you will feel physically and mentally healthier. Cycling will also help you to cut greenhouse gases and do your bit for the environment.
Not got a bike?
Good quality bikes and equipment can be costly. The Cycle to Work Scheme is a voluntary benefit offered by employers. Ask your employer to offer the Cycle to Work scheme to enable you to purchase new bicycles and equipment worth up to £1000 and save up to 50% off the retail price. If your employer doesn't already have a scheme in place, ask them if they will offer it.
Not only does the Cycle to Work employee benefit scheme save you money, it can also save your employer up to £138 per employee on the scheme. You simply pay for your bicycle and equipment over a 12 or 18-month period through your salary and at the same time save money on your tax and National Insurance contributions. After this period you can then pay the remaining balance to transfer the ownership of the bicycle and equipment, similar to a hire purchase but with tax savings.
Riding on the roads?
The £94 million pound developments aim to make cycling safer, but there are a few things to consider:
- Make sure you are fully visible and protected with all of the essentials - again you can save on these through the Cycle to Work scheme; including a bell, front and rear lights and a helmet.
- If you want to carry things such as a bag, a laptop or your lunch to work, panniers or baskets are available too.
- A pump is essential for maintenance, as is a lock to make sure your bike doesn't disappear after your first journey!
- You won’t need any special clothing, but some waterproofs in case it rains are a good investment.
Visit www.busybeesbenefits.com for more information about Cycle to Work. Contact Busy Bees Benefits if you are interested in saving with the Cycle to Work scheme and they will contact your employer for you.