The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) welcomed the announcement made by Secretary of State for Transport Lord Adonis yesterday of the introduction of the Cycle to Work Guarantee, but also warned that the scheme may need to go further still in order for the number of cyclists to continue to rise.
The Cycle to Work Guarantee scheme challenges employers to be more cycle friendly in their approach to office life and looks to build upon the success of the Cycle to Work initiative which allows company employees to get a bike through their employer, saving on tax and National Insurance.
It will focus on key areas such as secure, safe, and accessible bike parking facilities for all staff who want them, offseting the cost of cycling equipment and save on the tax through the ‘Cycle to Work scheme and bike repair for cyclists on or near sit.
Duncan Pickering, IAM Cycling Development Manager, said: “Employees have been able to obtain a bike at a reduced rate for a few years now, through the tax incentives of the Cycle to Work scheme, but other factors such as secure bike parking and shower/changing facilities are now being recognised as of equal importance to encourage more employees to cycle.
“The IAM has been working closely with many companies to encourage more people to cycle to work as there are real benefits for both employee and employer. The Cycle to Work Guarantee ensures that the focus isn’t solely on acquiring a bike and this is a positive step, but organisations also need to recognise the importance of practical, on-road training, which helps to create confident cyclists who ride more often.”
The recent IAM Cycling Motorists report looks at how to motivate drivers to cycle to work. Pickering said: “The IAM report shows that many of the three per cent who already cycle to work are car owners who choose two wheels rather than four for some of their journeys, including commuting.
"It also shows that two million motorists own bikes that they currently don't ride, and that one million of them could be persuaded to ride again given the right incentives, including training.”