Willerby has re-introduced the cycle to work scheme to support employees to incorporate cycling into their everyday life. The scheme which last took place in December will run every six months and is due to run again in May/June just in time for summer. It has proven to be extremely popular among staff with the last uptake amounting to almost £30k.
The cycle to work scheme aims to make purchasing a bike more affordable. Employees are offered the opportunity to spread the cost over several months payslips, making the initial outlay more manageable. It also grants them a tax exemption on the purchase of a bicycle and any associated accessories, providing them with an overall saving of up to 42%.
In the past year, it is believed that millions of people have discovered cycling as a result of COVID-19. Sports England recently reported that 29% of people in Yorkshire and the Humber have become more active during the current pandemic. With bike sales up by 15%, Willerby have decided to launch the scheme again to help staff that are seeking a more active lifestyle.
This government initiative is just one of many aiming to boost the popularity of this eco-friendly transport. In May 2020 the government pledged £2 billion towards a new era for cyclers. With Hull being the 8th hotspot in the country outside of London for bike-based commuting, it’s an initiative welcomed by the council who have already been able to allocate funding to create pop-up cycle lanes across the city. It is thought that 6% of Hull residents cycle to work compared to the 3% national average.
Willerby hopes that the reintroduction of the scheme will not only have a positive impact on the environment but the health of their employees. Cycling is thought to have huge health benefits including reducing the risk of both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Studies have also shown positive improvements to mental health and anxiety levels.