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Get on Your Bike!

Friday 19th March

Bedford Borough Council has confirmed its commitment to tackling climate change, reducing congestion and helping its staff live healthier lives by signing up to the Cycle2Work scheme.

PR Cycle Scheme

The Government backed programme allows employees to claim a voucher to buy a new bike to cycle to work. They then pay back the cost of that bike with tax free deductions from their salary.

The scheme is available to all employers, not just local authorities. However, the Council’s involvement is part of the ongoing commitment to encouraging more people to use bicycles in their everyday life.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Joining the Cycle2Work scheme is an excellent step forward but is also just one part of our commitment to helping our staff live healthier lives and finding greener ways to travel into work.

“We are doing everything we can to make Bedford a cycle-friendly borough. This will help our efforts to reduce carbon emissions in line with the 10:10 initiative, help residents of Bedford live healthier lives and also help as part of the ongoing efforts to reduce congestion around the town.

Agnes Inness, a languages teacher at Biddenham Upper School plans to sign up having suggested the Council join the scheme after a cycling holiday in Switzerland.

She said: “When I returned to work I knew that meant a return to my car, slow moving traffic and longer journeys in the morning.

“But, now the Council are introducing this scheme I will have to get out of my car and onto a bike – at least the snow has gone!

“Even if I use a bike for only some of my journeys I know I shall be doing my bit for the environment. I hope other employers follow suit.”

Bedford Borough Council has now met all 5 commitments of the Department for Transport’s ‘Cycle to Work Guarantee’. This means the Council:

Provides secure, safe, and accessible bike parking facilities for all staff who want them.

Provides good quality changing and locker facilities for all staff who want them.

Offsets the cost of cycling equipment and save on tax through the ‘Cycle to work scheme’

Offers bike repair on or near site

Training, reward and incentive programs to achieve targets for more cycling

This compliments the ‘Borough Cycles’ and ‘Borough Bikes’ schemes which are already running and offer staff the opportunity to borrow or loan cycles for short periods.

Meanwhile, the Council is also working hard to make it easier for all residents in the borough to cycle more by adding new cycle lanes throughout Bedford. Other schemes due to be delivered in the very near future include:

New cycle parking racks to be installed at various points in the town centre.

New cycle lanes will be added to a route joining the east and west of Bedford via Bromham Road and Goldington Road.

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