Does the idea of being given a bike for free just for cycling to work sound appealing? Free2Cycle wants to shake up the way cycle to work schemes work by allowing employees to ‘earn’ a new bike by riding to work.
Where most cycle to work schemes are paid off via salary deductions, Free2Cycle's plan has employers paying for 20p for every commute mile. These commutes will be tracked via an app. (For the record, Free2Cycle refers to itself as a “behavioural change initiative” rather than a scheme.) Although 20p/mile doesn’t sound like a lot, Free2Cycle expect most people to commit to the scheme for around four years.
Bikes of a value of up to £1,750 can be funded via Free2Cycle, but Free2Cycle expects most people will opt for more inexpensive bikes. You also have the option to extend this to £2,750 provided you pay an unspecified “additional contribution”.
Before you shysters out there start thinking of how your weekend jollies could pay off a new go-fast bike, only commuting mileage will count, with an upcoming dedicated app from Free2Cycle being used to track your progress.
Free2Cycle is unique in that is doesn’t require any upfront cost from either the employee or employer and is available to anyone over the age of 18 in full time employment. Compared to other schemes, this is a far more accessible arrangement.
Free2Cycle claims that having employers pay their employees to ride to work is a small investment that will save them money in the long run, with healthier and happier employees taking fewer sick days, feeling less stressed and reducing their carbon footprint.
Free2Cycle claims that it has already got the backing of a number of retailers and employers — including some unspecified “large scale employers” — that are interested in the scheme and they hope to launch fully later this year. It is also limited to the UK for now with plans to expand overseas once established.