The Government has refreshed its Cycle to Work scheme to include e-bikes – removing the £1,000 cap in the process.
First introduced 20 years ago, the Cycle to Work scheme offers employees the opportunity to purchase a new bike and accessories, tax-free, through their employers.
The Government credits the scheme for helping thousands of people ‘clean up their commute’.
Timed to coincide with Bike Week 2019, cycling minister Michael Ellis has announced that the scheme will now include e-bikes for the first time.
Given the cost of e-bikes, the Government has also published refreshed guidance to make it easier for employers to provide cycles and equipment worth more than £1,000 – effectively removing the existing cap.
It says the move will give commuters more opportunities to boost their health, benefit the environment and speed up their journey to work.
Michael Ellis, cycling minister, said: “Cycling is a vital and easy way to improve air quality, reduce pollution and create vibrant towns and cities.
“Making sure that bikes are easily available is crucial to helping more people make the switch to greener modes of transport. Ensuring people of all abilities and fitness levels can cycle together is a key part of this.
“I want everyone to feel empowered to make cycling a part of their everyday lives, and our refreshed guidance provides many incentives to help people do this.”
How does the scheme work?
There are a number of different Cycle to Work scheme providers, but the basic premise remains the same:
- Workplace registers with scheme provider
- Employee chooses a bike/accessories
- Employer pays for bike/accessories
- Employee pays back employer through monthly payroll instalments
Refreshed scheme ‘opens up cycling to more people’
The move to open up the Cycle to Work scheme to include e-bikes has been welcomed by walking and cycling charity Sustrans.
Xavier Brice, chief executive at Sustrans, said: “We warmly welcome the new Cycle to Work Scheme guidance published today which highlights the UK Government’s ambition to make cycling an activity for everyone.
“Removing the cap an employee can spend on a bike will open up cycling to more people, enabling them to purchase specially adapted or electric cycles, which was not previously possible due to their high cost.”
Statistics show that 70,000 e-bikes were sold in the UK last year.