Believe me when I tell you I have nothing in common with Norman Tebbit but, for entirely different and laudable reasons, I would coin his phrase and ask employees to “get on their bikes”. I am delighted to say that Mitchells Roberton has joined Cyclescheme, an initiative to encourage people to cycle to work. It is a super scheme. The health and environmental benefits are obvious but there are also significant financial incentives:
- Reduced commuting costs
- No parking costs – we are lucky that our offices at George House, North Hanover Street, Glasgow benefit from a secure and covered bike shed (and shower facilities!) – most places of work will have somewhere to park a bike at no cost.
- Most significantly, employees typically save at least 30% on the cost of a new bike and accessories.
This is how it works:
- The employer pays for a new bike & accessories (up to £1000) and retains ownership.
- The employee hires the bike by a monthly salary sacrifice from their gross pay over an initial hire period (usually 12 months).
- The employee then pays a nominal final amount (3%-7% of the initial cost of the bike) and after a secondary “hire” period (no further payments) ownership transfers to the employee.
- The employee still earns the same amount. Deducting payments from gross salary rather than net salary is how the cost savings are achieved.
Most bike shops participate in the scheme and there are lots to choose from.
I joined the scheme recently and have been cycling to work since, so middle age and being dreadfully unfit are no barriers! My commute is about 4 miles and takes less than 20 minutes door to door. Glasgow’s roads are reasonably bike-friendly and there are extensive cycle lanes and paths to use. As I write my bike is in the courtyard waiting to be pedalled home.