The biggest providers of Cycle to Work have combined notes to find a 7.9 per cent overall increase in the numbers taking up Cycle to Work in 2012, compared with 2011.
The Cycle to Work Alliance (Cyclescheme, Cycle Solutions, Evans Cycles and Halfords) said that 2012 saw over 86,000 new cyclists commuting to work by bike, exceeding the comparitive figure for 2011.
The fourth quarter of 2012 saw the largest increase in users – with 30 per cent more individuals signing up to the scheme than in the fourth quarter of 2011. Alliance members said the boost was due in part to the success of British Cyclists during the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Tour de France and more practical matters like the latest batch of above inflation rail fare increases.
Steve Edgell, chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance and director of Cycle Solutions, said: “2012 was one of the most successful years for the cycle to work scheme. With the Olympics boosting the image of cycling, and rising costs deterring people from traditional forms of commuter transport, the scheme has become an increasingly popular and important option.
"The Alliance has seen an increasing interest by both employers and employees in the benefit of commuting to work by bike. For employers, promoting cycling to work ensures a healthier and happier workforce, while employees see the scheme as beneficial to both their health and their finances.
"We expect this success to continue in 2013, as the scheme builds on the legacy left by 2012. We hope cycling, and the scheme, will continue to be promoted by Government as a most valuable form of commuter transport.”
Drilling down into the figures, the Alliance said industry data shows that 61 per cent of the scheme uptake each year are new users. Given 141,219 certificates were issued by Alliance members in 2012, there were approximately 86,144 new scheme users, it said. There's more on that topic in the Alliance's Behavioural Impact Analysis.