The Cyclescheme, a UK-wide initiative to help employees take advantage of tax and National Insurance savings on bike purchases in order to commute to work, has proved hugely popular with staff at the University of the West of England. So far over one hundred have taken advantage of buying a bike and making substantial savings on list prices.
Emma Lutkin administers the scheme for UWE. “Cyclescheme’s process has been really easy to implement and run,” she said. “Once a voucher has been requested by the individual it usually takes no more than three weeks to get the voucher.
“Since July 2007 when it was launched, over 110 vouchers have been issued and I’m really pleased with the success of the scheme and, as it has no end date, I hope that will continue. Cycling to work, particularly if it’s a short journey, is so much nicer that being in a car in traffic and it’s amazing how easy it becomes if you’re not ultra-fit to start with.”
Kieran O’Malley, a Technician in School of Life Sciences, was the first person to get a voucher. Kieran cycles in about twice a week and although a self confessed fair-weather cyclist, he said, “I had been toying with the idea for ages and the scheme kick-started me into buying a Specialized Rockhopper with a much more souped-up spec than I might otherwise have considered. My route from Bedminster takes in the Bristol to Bath cycle path and has introduced me to parts of Bristol I hadn’t explored before. It’s proved to be great exercise and it saves me 20 percent on my fuel costs for every day that I choose to cycle.”
Steve Ward, UWE’s Travel Planner said, “Cycling to work is one of the easiest ways to get regular physical exercise, ensuring healthy employees who can look forward to an active retirement. With CycleScheme offering substantial savings on the cost of a new bike, I hope many more staff will be able to enjoy a stress-busting, reliable and convenient journey to work.”