28 July 2020 16:36
People across England will be given £50 towards fixing their damaged or old bicycles as part of an ambitious new fitness scheme. The UK government has launched a £25million bike repair project, aimed at 'dragging bikes out of retirement'. We've put together everything you need to know about the plans. When did the scheme begin? It started today (Tuesday, July 28) and is applicable across England.
How do I get a voucher? People can apply for a voucher on a first-come first-served basis on the Fix Your Bike website from 11.45pm on Tuesday (July 28). Weren't they supposed to be available sooner? The £25 million scheme is part of a £2 billion investment in active travel announced in February. The vouchers were initially due to be available in June - however the Department for Transport said they would only be made available once maintenance shops could handle the expected spike in demand. Once I've got hold of a voucher - how can I use it? Find a repair shop participating in the scheme and book your bike in for a check-up. What do the vouchers cover? They can be used towards the cost of making a bike safe for use on public roads. Upgrading roadworthy parts or buying removable accessories such as lights or helmets are not included. The voucher will normally cover the cost of a standard service and replacement of a basic component such as an inner tube or cable. What happens if my bike needs several or more expensive new parts? Cyclists will need to cover costs in excess of £50. Is there a limit on how many vouchers one person can get? Vouchers are capped at two per-household and they must be used on different bikes. How popular will they be? The UK Government says it is releasing vouchers in batches to help manage capacity at cycle shops which have seen "overwhelming demand" for their services during the Covid-19 crisis. Is the total number of vouchers capped? Up to half a million vouchers will be released, but the initial batch is limited to 50,000. Which businesses are part of the scheme? Halfords are among of the many companies who are taking part. What have Halfords said about the new scheme? Halfords chief executive 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. "As part of the scheme, our thousands of highly skilled bike mechanics will offer each cyclist a free 32-point bike check and diagnosis, which will help them decide how best to spend their voucher. "We think the Government's Fix Your Bike voucher scheme will not only help individuals become more confident about keeping their bikes maintained, but will help speed up the cycling revolution."