The UK government has launched its Fix Your Bike scheme. Registrations will open at 11:45pm today (Tuesday 28 July), allowing you to claim a £50 voucher to fix-up an old bike. Here’s how to claim your voucher.
The Fix Your Bike initiative was originally announced in May in response to the coronavirus crisis, as part of a range of measures to encourage people to cycle, thus avoiding public transport and unnecessary private car journeys.
The launch of the scheme comes after the government announced its Better Health strategy on Monday, with GPs encouraged to prescribe cycling to tackle obesity.
1. Find a Fix Your Bike-registered bike mechanic to repair your bike using Energy Saving Trust’s map of participating bike shops and mechanics. All registered mechanics and bike shops are located on this map.
2. From 11:45pm on 28 July 2020, apply for a £50 voucher on the Energy Saving Trust website.
3. Take your bike to your chosen repairer to be fixed, using the voucher to cover up to £50 of the total cost of the repairs needed.
How to claim a Fix Your Bike voucher
The Fix Your Bike scheme is open to anyone in England “who has an unused cycle in need of a repair”.
A limited number of vouchers will be available through the Energy Saving Trust website. The vouchers will be released in batches to manage demand, according to the BBC, with 50,000 initially available.
Up to two vouchers can be claimed per household and can be used at any bike mechanic registered with the scheme.
“From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“But to build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to travel on two wheels.
“That’s why now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans yet to boost active travel – so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling.”
How use a Fix Your Bike voucher at Halfords and Evans Cycles
Hundreds of independent bike shops have signed up to the Fix Your Bike scheme, while Halfords and Evans Cycles are among the major retailers to have registered.
Halfords already offers a free 32-point check on bikes, which “will be used as a pre-inspection to diagnose and assess any potential faults with each bike”. If any work is required you can leave your bike with them or bring it back at a later date.
More than 12,000 NHS staff and emergency workers have claimed a free bike check since it was launched in March, according to Halfords.
Evans Cycles, meanwhile, has been restructuring its workshops in response to the coronavirus crisis and has grown its team of mechanics by 32 per cent. Evans has also established a new Road Ready Service “designed specifically for use with the voucher redemption programme”.
Evans Cycles is pledging to complete pre-booked services within 24 hours. Evans Cycles
On top of that, Evans is rolling out a 24-hour servicing pledge, with the commitment to complete all services booked in advance within 24 hours (subject to availability of parts). Four dedicated bike builds hubs have been established to ease the burden on stores.
Halfords’ CEO Graham Stapleton said: “When it comes to bike repairs, we’ve noticed a change in customer mindset, with more cyclists turning to us to help with the smallest of fixes, as they dust off their old bikes and seek to avoid public transport.
“It’s a trend that’s being driven by busy lives and lack of time for consumers who don’t want to carry out awkward maintenance jobs.”
An Evans Cycles spokesperson added: “It is truly amazing to see so many people getting back on their bikes.
“The past few months have presented significant challenges to both customers and staff, and we’ve worked extremely hard to meet unprecedented demand, safely and responsibly while providing hundreds of free bike MOTs to key workers across the country.
“The new voucher scheme presents a fantastic opportunity to help revive any bike that might benefit from a bit of care and repair. We hope the public embrace the opportunity of the funding, so that more people can discover that life really is better by bike.”