The cycle to work scheme generates around £72 million in economic benefits through improved physical fitness and associated health perks, research has shown.
The saving amounts to more than twice the estimated cost to the Treasury in lost tax and National Insurance, and the Institute for Employment Studies (IES), which carried out the investigation, also claimed there was likely to be further environmental benefits.
The study concluded that the cycle to work scheme was both economically and socially beneficial. The IES insists that, if combined with infrastructure improvements, the initiative would continue to play an important role in increasing the levels of cycling in the UK.
In addition to the economic benefits, the research showed the programme produced more than 9,000 new cyclists each year and scheme users travelled 18 miles more per week than before they joined.
Steve Edgell, director of Cycle Solutions and chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance, a group of the leading cycle to work scheme providers, said: ‘The social and economic benefits resulting from the cycle to work scheme make a compelling case for employers and government alike to throw their support behind the scheme.’
He explained that, in addition to the economic contribution, the study also highlights the important role of the initiative in increasing how much people cycle.
He added: ‘It confirms that the cycle to work scheme is a vital mechanism in meeting the government’s objective of doubling cycling activity by 2025.’
Pay & Benefits magazine 8 June 2016