Members of the public can now apply for a £50 voucher to carry out bike repairs, as part of a new pilot scheme.
The Fix your Bike voucher scheme aims to encourage people to get back into cycling – by getting their old bikes fixed and ensuring they are safe to ride.
It has been launched as part of a new £2bn plan to make England a ‘great walking and cycling nation’ – building on the ‘significant increase’ in the number of people cycling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to ‘overwhelming demand’ for cycle shops’ services during the pandemic, vouchers will be released in batches in order to help manage capacity across participating stores.
The first 50,000 are now available on a first come first served basis to those who register online.
The Government says it will work closely with industry during this first pilot launch to monitor its success and adapt the scheme as necessary before rolling it out more widely.
Grant Shapps, transport secretary, said: “We’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a shift in attitudes for generations to come, and get more people choosing to cycle or walk as part of their daily routine.
“By helping to fix your bike… we’re making it easier than ever to make active travel part of your daily life, and leading England to become a great cycling nation.”
Pop-up bike mechanics to assist voucher scheme
Cycling UK estimates there are 16.5 million bikes sitting in the hallways and sheds of England unused and neglected.
It says many of these bikes will require simple maintenance to start working again, with common complaints such as loose brakes, skipping gears and flat tyres.
From 15 August, as part of its Big Bike Revival scheme, Cycling UK will be sending out mechanics to fix minor repairs and check to make sure bikes are safe and roadworthy.
These trained mechanics – known as Dr Bikes – will appear at pop up events around the country, aiming to help fix 100,000 bikes over the three months it runs.
For bikes needing more further assistance, owners will be referred to retailers using the government’s £50 bike repair voucher scheme.
More details of these events will be made available on the Big Bike Revival website prior to its launch.