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Government to issue half a million £50 repair vouchers to get neglected bikes back on the road

Transport secretary Grant Shapps also says those who drive to work will be encouraged to park outside town and city centres

Transport secretary Grant Shapps says that half a million £50 vouchers will be issued to people in England to help get neglected bikes back on the road.

The vouchers had first been mentioned a fortnight ago when Shapps confirmed that £250 million was being made available for councils to provide emergency cycling and walking infrastructure.

4th June 2020: We will provide further updates on how that scheme will function, and how you can obtain one of the vouchers, as soon as we have the information from the Department for Transport.

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Speaking at yesterday’s Downing Street briefing, the cabinet minister provide a little further detail on them.

Talking of how the way the nation moves around will have to change as it emerges from lockdown, he said: “Previously we announced the introduction of a scheme to help bring bicycles back to a roadworthy condition,# relieving the pressure on public transport, and improving the nation’s health.”

The £50 bicycle maintenance voucher, “available from next month … will help up to half-a-million people drag bikes out of retirement,” said Shapps.

He said that would help in “speeding up the cycling revolution, helping individuals become fitter and healthier, and reducing air pollution, which remains a hidden killer.

“Clean air should be as big a priority for us in the 21st century as clean water was to the Victorians in the 19th.”

In recent weeks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the transport secretary have both encouraged driving, and above all cycling and walking as a means of getting to work while avoiding public transport., with Boris Johnson hailing a "new Golden Age for Cycling,."

> Prime Minister heralds “new Golden Age for cycling”

With many people expected to use their cars to commute when they return to work, there have been concerns over gridlock in towns and city centres, but Shapps hinted yesterday that measures would be implemented to prevent that from happening.

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He said: “For those who live too far to cycle and walk, and must drive to major conurbations, we will repurpose parking in places just outside town centres so people can park on the outskirts and finish their journeys on foot or bike or even e-scooter.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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