Halfords’ Cycle2Work scheme has announced a ten per cent increase in customers as it hits its tenth anniversary.
According to the retailer, which says its Cycle to Work scheme is the biggest in the UK, it has seen a significant trend towards women joining – one in four new joiners are women. At M&S 42 per cent of employees using the scheme are women while other schemes with a high number of women taking part include Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust at 50 per cent, and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust with 57.5 per cent female participants.
Victoria Pendleton, who retails her line of bikes through Halfords, marked the anniversary by joining staff from M&S, one of the most recent companies to sign up to Halfords Cycle2Work.
Gary O'Neill, Rewards and Benefits manager for M&S said: "We want to help make it easier for our employees to live healthier lifestyles and cycle2work enables us does just that. It’s fast become one of our most popular employee benefits and we hope to see even more people join during this year’s window for sign up."
Halfords Corporate Sales manager Charles Ashwell said: “It is extremely encouraging to see a more balanced demand from employees looking to enjoy the benefits of cycle2work.”
Pendleton said: “It is great that Cycle2work is appealing to more women as I know a lot of people have busy lifestyles and can struggle to find time for exercising. If you can commute by bike then do it – it’s a great way to stay fit and healthy.”
A study by the umbrella body Cycle To Work Alliance reveals the benefits of membership for employers and employees. Around 85 per cent of participants noticed their health improving, 84 per cent of users rate the scheme an important and easy way to keep fit and 97 per cent of businesses see the scheme is an important way to encourage a healthy workforce.
Scheme users are cycling a total of 13,222,620 miles per week and 67 per cent of participants would commute to work by car if they did not cycle there. These commuters are saving 112,210 tonnes of CO2 in annual reduced carbon emissions. To date over 550,000 people from 32,000 companies have taken advantage of the scheme since it was launched by the Government to encourage workers to commute by bike.
Halfords added that its c2w scheme is able to supply 'virtually all bike brands available in the UK through both its own stores and Independent Bike Shop partners'.