The UK Government's 'Fix Your Bike' vouchers launch in England on Tuesday.
As part of the government's £2 billion scheme to encourage cycling and walking announced back in February, 50,000 vouchers will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis via a dedicated microsite, although a total of 500,000 vouchers have been promised to be released in waves. The Department for Transport has explained that it is working with bike shops to ensure they are able to handle the expected increase in demand.
Alongside the vouchers, the scheme promises cycle training for children and adults alike, and thousands of miles of new protected cycle lanes, as the government tries to improve cycling infrastructure.
"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," Prime Minister, Boris Johnson explained. "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."
In addition, following Monday's announcement of its obesity strategy, the Prime Minister has announced that bikes will be offered as a treatment on the UK's National Health Service, and that GPs will be encouraged to prescribe cycling to tackle a range of health conditions.
The move comes after calls from the cycling industry to capitalise on the increased numbers of commuters travelling by bike, a result of reduced public transport and the quietened streets caused by lockdown.
Brompton CEO Will Butler-Adams urged the government to dump other costly transport infrastructure projects such as the HS2 high-speed railway, and instead spend billions on making cycling more accessible in cities.
“We are spending most of our money on supporting the NHS because the lifestyle we are living is extremely unhealthy," Butler-Adams exclaimed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. “That’s why this opportunity at the moment is so important. We have seen what we want, we have had this enlightenment and what we need to do as a society and say what you are currently delivering is totally unacceptable.”
Vouchers are set to go live at 23:45. Register for yours at https://fixyourbikevoucherscheme.est.org.uk/
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