Cycling to work worth £72m a year in social benefit
Posted - June 8, 2016
A recent report commissioned by the Cycle to Work Alliance and carried out by the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) has concluded that the Cycle to Work Scheme is "economically and socially beneficial" to the UK to the tune of £72 million per year.
The value of £72m is derived from employees who use the scheme having reduced absenteeism as well as increased physical fitness and therefore reduced healthcare costs. Importantly this figure is more than twice the estimated cost to the treasury in lost Tax and National Insurance through salary sacrifice.
The evidence used is from a survey of 13,000 active scheme users and suggests that the scheme not only encourages over 9,000 non-cyclists to start cycling each year but also gets existing cyclists cycling more, on average an extra 18 miles per week.
The report also supports the fact that health benefits remain the single biggest reason that people choose to take up the scheme – although there are other benefits for both employees and employers, including financial gain and staff engagement.
Steve Edgell, MD of leading provider, Cycle Solutions and Chair of the Cycle to Work Alliance, was pleased to see the findings:
"This study has considered a huge range of evidence, all of which highlights the immense £72 million in benefits that cycling to work offers the economy. In particular, the social and economic benefits resulting from the cycle to work scheme make a compelling case for employers and government alike to throw their support behind the scheme."
"In addition to the economic contribution, the research further illustrates the crucial role the scheme plays in increasing how much people cycle. It confirms that the cycle to work scheme is a vital mechanism in meeting the government’s objective of doubling cycling activity by 2025."
"We look forward to working with the government to ensure the potential contribution of the cycle to work scheme can be realised through the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy"
The report was an assessment of the efficacy of the Cycle to Work Scheme and the health and economic benefits of cycling to work. The findings underpin the Governments' recent backing of the scheme as part of the 2016 Budget.