Cyclists to be handed ₤50 bike repair vouchers under government fitness drive

Derrick Santistevan

Biking fanatic Boris Johnson is appealing ₤50 repair vouchers as part of his coronavirus crusade to convince people to get on their bike.

The first vouchers will be readily available online late on Tuesday in England and the prime minister is likewise vowing more costs on cycle lanes, training and bikes on prescription from GPs.

The goal of the bike repair vouchers is to motivate people to get their old bikes out of the shed, repaired and safe to flight, so they cycle to the stores or see buddies instead of usage public transportation.

Boris Johnson’s first year in office

Released 24 hours after Mr Johnson’s anti-obesity campaign, the fix-your-bike coupon plan is the current relocation by the PM in his drive to increase biking to get the country slimmer and fitter.

“From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face,” he stated.

” However to construct a much healthier, more active country, we need the ideal facilities, training and assistance in location to provide people the self-confidence to travel on 2 wheels.

“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.”

Mr Johnson, who cycled to work as London mayor and as a backbench MP, has actually long been a champ of biking, releasing significant tasks in the capital in his time as mayor.

It has actually been declared that considering that his brush with death from coronavirus the prime minister has actually ended up being “obsessed” with “getting Britain on its bike” and motivating more people to cycle to work.

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Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps, who is returning from his Spanish vacation and entering into quarantine, states the government is likewise increasing gain access to to e-bikes for older people and those not so healthy.

“We’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a shift in attitudes for generations to come and get more people choosing to cycle or walk as part of their daily routine,” stated Mr Shapps.

” The procedures we have actually set out today in this innovative strategy will do simply that. No matter your age, how far you’re taking a trip, or your present self-confidence on a bike – there are strategies to aid and assistance you.

” By assisting to repair your bike – or get an electrically powered one; by increasing storage space at stations, on buses and trains; and by presenting more methods to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe, we’re making it much easier than ever to make active travel part of your every day life, and leading England to end up being an excellent biking country.”

The government states that due to frustrating need for cycle stores’ services throughout the coronavirus pandemic, vouchers will be launched in batches in order to aid handle capability throughout getting involved stores.

The first 50,000 will be readily available prior to midnight on Tuesday on a first come, first served basis to those who sign uponline Children’s bikes will likewise covered by the plan.

People will be able to utilize their coupon, with a limitation of 2 per home, at any getting involved repair store, with the coupon staying legitimate for 2 months.

The government declares ₤50 will usually cover the expense of a basic service and the replacement of a standard part such as an inner tube or cable television.

The plan can be utilized to spend for service and parts required to make a bike safe however will not be permitted purchasing devices and equipment.

Other government propositions consist of cycle training for each kid and grownup who desires it, available through schools, regional authorities or direct from cycle training plans.

More cycle racks will be set up at transportation centers, town and city centres and public structures and financing will go towards brand-new bike garages and on-street storage for people who do not have space to keep a bike at home.

The government states its biking transformation, which will be moneyed by the ₤ 2bn of brand-new money revealed previously this year for strolling and biking, will likewise consist of:

  • Countless miles of secured cycle paths in cities and towns, with greater requirements supervised by a brand-new inspectorate, Active Travel England, and enhancing the National Cycle Network;
  • Reinforcing the Highway Code to much better safeguard pedestrians and cyclists, raising safety requirements on trucks and dealing with the authorities and sellers to take on bike theft;
  • Powers for regional authorities to punish traffic offenses and increased powers for city mayors over roadway networks;
  • Decreasing “rat runs”, closing side streets, lowering traffic by schools, 12 brand-new cycle-friendly “Mini Hollands” and a minimum of one zero-emission city centre;
  • Motivating GPs to recommend biking, with clients able to gain access to bikes through their regional surgical treatment; and
  • A brand-new national e-bike program, to assist those who are older, have to travel cross countries or are less healthy to use up biking

The PM’s biking crusade is called “Gear Shift: A bold vision for cycling and walking” and the proposed “Mini Holland” plans are based upon those currently presented in 3 external London districts.

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According to a current Glasgow University research study, biking to work is connected with a 45% lower threat of establishing cancer, a 46% lower threat of heart problem and a 41% lower threat of early death, compared to a non-active commute.

The bike repair vouchers were first discussed by Mr Shapps throughout a Downing Street coronavirus instruction on 23 Might, when he stated the effort would be “available from next month”.

However the Department for Transportation (DfT) stated previously this month it would just start when upkeep stores might deal with the anticipated spike in need.

Halfords has stated it has countless slots readily available every day for clients to bring their bike into stores to determine prospective faults which might be remedied under the plan.

The business’s president Graham Stapleton stated: “We think the government’s Fix Your Bike voucher scheme will not only help individuals become more confident about keeping their bikes maintained, but will help speed up the cycling revolution.”

However the government’s biking effort was derided by Labour’s shadow biking minister Kerry McCarthy.

“It’s been five months since the government first announced this funding for cycling in the spring budget, three months since Shapps’ cycling press conference and yet again all we have is a re-announcement,” she stated.

” Tory ministers have actually dragged their feet and stopped working to take the chance this crisis has actually postured. Financing is welcome, cyclists will be appropriately worried about how long it is going to take to really put these strategies into practice.

” Nobody desires a return to the levels of contamination and blockage we saw prior to the lockdown started, however, if we stop working to make our roadways safe enough to cycle, people will revert back to taking the car.”

The website to sign up for the coupon is:

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