Users of the cycle to work scheme are saving 112,210 tonnes of CO2 every year, according to new research from the Cycle to Work Alliance.
A survey of over 18,500 employess looked at how the scheme motivates people to commute by bike and how that can help central and local government's sustainable objectives.
The Government has ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions and creating a more sustainable transport system. Coming at a time when public spending is being cut back, solutions have to be cost effective and efficient – which is where the C2W scheme (and this new research) comes in.
Users of the cycle to work scheme are cycling over 13 million miles per week and, of these commuters, 67 per cent would travel to work by car if they did not cycle to work. Through their participation in the scheme, these commuters are saving 112,210 tonnes of CO2 in reduced car emissions.
The research also tackled the role of the scheme in encouraging people to cycle to work. 54 per cent of participants told the Alliance they did not cycle to work before signing up to the scheme, while 72 per cent said they would not have bought their bike if it had not been available through the scheme. More broadly, the scheme is helping to increase interest in cycling with 40 per cent of individuals who classed themselves as novice or occasional cyclists when they joined the scheme, now feeling themselves to be enthusiast cyclists.
However, it’s not just employees who benefit from the scheme. 98 per cent of respondents said they would encourage other colleagues to take part in the scheme, demonstrating its importance as an engagement tool for employers.
The Minister for Cycling, Norman Baker MP enthused: “I am delighted to see that the Cycle to Work Scheme continues to grow, and it is encouraging that findings in this report show that more and more commuters are looking towards cycling as their main mode of transport to work.
"By boosting the number of people who travel to work by bike, the scheme is making a tangible contribution to addressing the Coalition Government’s commitment to reduce the country’s carbon emissions and create sustainable growth.”
Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance and director of Cycle Solutions Steve Edgell commented: “This new research by the Alliance is important in demonstrating the benefit of the cycle to work scheme in achieving the Government’s sustainable transport objectives. It highlights how the scheme encourages commuters to give up expensive and environmentally unfriendly cars, and instead look to cycling as a sustainable alternative.
"Our research shows how the scheme is mutually beneficial to both employees and employers, and we look forward to continue to help the Government in promoting the benefits of cycling.”
UPDATE: Halfords has also added a comment on the topic.
Head of business services Keith Scott said: “There are so many advantages that include health and fitness as well as savings on daily travel costs. We have seen significant increase in numbers taking up the incentive and every month we help thousands more who use a bike as their favoured way to commute.
“Here at Halfords we offer a tailor made service to organisations seeking to make this highly valued benefit available to their employees. It’s the fastest growing and most sought after employee benefit in the UK and enables employers to make savings of up to 42 per cent on a brand new bike and safety accessories for cycling to work.”