Following the return of pupils to the classroom, a further 150,000 £50 Fix Your Bike vouchers have been released by the government to enable “active travel”.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps told the House of Commons that “many more people – including students and parents – are making essential journeys” after the reopening of schools.
The scheme is designed to encourage greener ways of travel and promote exercise during the Covid pandemic, which has seen restrictions on social distancing and group workouts.
Here’s how it will work.
What is the government Fix Your Bike scheme?
The Fix Your Bike scheme was first introduced in July 2020 to encourage people to get their old bikes fixed and road worthy again as the country relaxed some of its Covid restrictions.
Such was demand, however, that the 50,000 vouchers allocated were snapped up within minutes. A second batch of 50,000 vouchers were released and taken up in November.
Now, as England emerges from a third national lockdown, the government is encouraging greener active travel for those who need to get to work, such as pupils, parents and teachers.
Shapps said: “Schools are reopening this week, as we all know, and many more people – including students and parents – are making essential journeys therefore.
“So I am delighted to announce that today we have reopened the release of another 150,000 Fix Your Bike vouchers helping people to get onto their bikes and back into active travel.
“Each voucher is worth £50 and will help more people get their old bikes fixed and road worthy again – all part of our £2 billion unprecedented active travel funding throughout this Parliament.”
Where are Fix Your Bike repair locations?
Thousands of repairers from independent stores to large chains are registered to take part in the nation-wide scheme, including Halfords Evans Cycles and Go Outdoors.
The scheme has prompted a surge in cycling since its introduction, with Halford claiming to have performed 300,000 free bike checks and 750,000 repairs or services in 2021.
Paul Tomlinson, cycling director at Halfords, said: “We have helped repair thousands of bikes through the Government’s Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme.
“This scheme means that many who might not be able to afford to get their bike fixed can now bring theirs back to a roadworthy condition and it looks like it's happening against a backdrop of a huge increase in cycling.
“It’s fantastic to see that this demand looks set to stay – if not increase.”
How can I apply for a Fix Your Bike voucher?
Vouchers can only be used with repairers signed up to the scheme and a maximum of two vouchers can be claimed by each household.
The process takes a matter of minutes and once the voucher code is issued it has to be used within 60 days from the date a new applicant signed up.
The £50 voucher is enough for a basic service of seeing to gears, brakes and chain at most shops, with money left over for new parts such as a puncture repair kit.
Halfords charge £35 for a bronze level service, which includes gears, brakes and chains adjusted, aligned and lubricated, or £50 for the silver service of gear and brake cables replaced and wheel checks.