The Cycle to Work Scheme has seen a nine per cent increase in take up during the first quarter of this year compared to 2011, according to the latest report from the Cycle to Work Alliance.
The Alliance's members – made up of the largest players in the C2W sector including Cyclescheme, Cycle Solutions, Evans Cycles and Halfords – have seen a growth in the number of employees signing up to the scheme, reversing recent trends.
From January to March 2012, over 23,400 employees signed up to the scheme through members of the Alliance, providing a positive indicator for cycling in 2012.
The Alliance put the rise down to HMRC’s clarification on the tax implications for participating companies. The Alliance added that the scheme’s popularity has been cemented by the clarifications, with companies now able to encourage even more adults to commute to work by bicycle.
Rising fuel and public transport costs are also thought to be boosting the scheme, which can reduce commuting costs by up to 42 per cent of the cost of a new bike and safety equipment.
“The C2W scheme has seen a resurgence at the beginning of the year," said Keith Scott, Cycle to Work Alliance member and head of business services at Halfords.
"The Olympics and Summer of Cycling in 2012, will give cycling another significant boost.
"The Alliance is seeing this growing interest in cycling reflected by businesses. Increasingly employers recognise the potential of a healthy and active workforce and they are keen to help their employees cycle to work.
"We hope that backed by continued Government support there will be even greater interest in the scheme and more people commuting to work by bike.”