Cyclescheme, the country’s largest Cycle to Work provider, says that employers registering with it to enable their workers to obtain tax breaks when getting a bike have risen more than fourfold since the UK entered lockdown.
The Bath-based company says that in the three months since 31 March, employer registrations rose by “a staggering” 310 per cent due employers “heavily investing in cycling as a benefit for their workforce.”
It also says that last month alone, sales of bikes using the certificates it provides that enable employees to benefit from the scheme, which allows bikes to be bought through salary sacrifice, effectively making them “tax-free,” rose by 59.7 per cent.
The reported growth in the number of employers signing up to work with Cyclescheme reflects how bikes have become an essential way of getting around during the coronavirus pandemic, with people urged to avoid public transport.
Laurence Boon, product manager at Cyclescheme commented “Cycling has always been a great way to stay active with a long list of physical, mental, and environmental benefits.
“The pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for engagement with cycling and we’re working hard to ensure that the road ahead is clear, for any commuter ready to make the switch.
“What’s exciting to see from our data is that employers and employees are making it happen and changing lives and communities for the better.”
Nigel Roberts, general manager at Trek Bicycle, added: “‘Retailers have seen a significant increase in bike sales to consumers during April and May.
This, in turn, is driving strong sales growth for us and other brands, and it looks like the boom will develop into a sustained increase in cycling.”
Cyclescheme said that its data came from a combination of internal sales data and results from Google Analytics.
The company celebrated its 15th anniversary earlier this year having been set up in February 2005 by Gary Cooper and Richard Grigsby to help employers looking to provide access to the Cycle to Work scheme, introduced in the Finance Act 1999, to their staff.
Cyclescheme was sold in 2010 to the Grass Roots Group, which was itself acquired by US-based Blackhawk Network in 2016.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.