Britain’s biggest bike retailer Halfords has today announced encouraging statistics that suggest an increase in new women cyclists. The news comes as the company revealed a 10 percent increase in customers for its own cycle to work scheme, cycle2work, which has now been running for 10 years.
Demographic data has revealed that one in four new joiners to the scheme, which allows employees to acquire new bikes at a discount of up to 50 percent through tax incentives, are women. The scheme had previously appealed significantly more to male riders.
Even more encouraging figures have emerged from some of the 32,000 companies that have taken advantage of cycle to work schemes since they were launched by the Government back in 1999. Marks & Spencer is now showing that 42 per cent of employees using the scheme are women; Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust shows that 50 percent are women; and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust's scheme has 57.5 percent female participants.
Former Olympian and Halfords brand ambassador Victoria 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.”
To date over 550,000 people have taken advantage of the scheme since it was launched by the UK Government to encourage workers to commute by bike.