Government departments shun Cycle To Work scheme

Over 200,000 government employees are being deprived the opportunity to buy a subsidised bicycle through the government's own Cycle To Work scheme.

The Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department for Work and Pensions, and the Ministry of Defence offer inferior loan schemes.

Loans will cost employees more
It's estimated their loans would save them only a quarter of what employees using the Cycle To Work can save. This wouldn't offer significant enough savings to encourage people to cycle to work.

An MoD spokesperson said, “The MOD decided not to implement the Cycle To Work scheme for Service personnel as we already have an equivalent loan scheme."

However, Sarah Ellwood of Cyclescheme said, "Offering an interest-free loan is not comparable to the Cycle To Work scheme.

"Interest-free loans are just that: you pay back the money over 12 months, but there are no savings.

"Some employees agree some kind of discount with a bike shop, but these are rarely more than 10%.

Cycle To Work is no burden on employers
"It is a common misconception that the Cycle To Work scheme carries an administration burden. However, all the employer has to do is approve the applications. Everything else is done for them."

The Department of Work and Pensions discount scheme offers between 5% and 15% off the purchase price of a bicycle, compared to the usual 40% offered by the government scheme.

Tom Bogdanowicz, LCC campaigns manager, said, "Their arguments look like a list of excuses. It is very embarrassing for government departments not to offer the Cycle To Work scheme to their own employees when it's a programme they're promoting."

Tell us your Cycle To Work story

LCC can provide free information on the Cycle To Work.

We're also drawing up a list of employers that we think would benefit from this information. If your employers is one of these, please contact us using the form below.