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Cycle to Work Scheme tackling long-term conditions and improving employee health

 
New research published today by the Cycle to Work Alliance shows that the cycle to work scheme is currently helping to prevent over 500 deaths each year, while saving the Government £5.1 billion over the decade. The research, using the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) HEAT tool and published in a new report by the Alliance, The Healthy Commute, sheds light on how the scheme is helping government and local authorities achieve their public health objectives.
 
You can read the full Healthy Commute report here
 
Increasing levels of physical activity is vital in attempts to reduce the threats posed by a variety of conditions, including coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, or bowel cancer. However, with 28.5% of adults in England failing to undertake at least 30 minutes exercise a week and physical inactivity costing the NHS in the region of a £1bn a year, encouraging greater numbers of individuals to lead more active lifestyles is critical.
 
The latest analysis from the Alliance highlights that the cycle to work scheme is delivering improvements in public health outcomes. Using the WHO HEAT tool, analysis of scheme users shows that participation is saving the UK Government £5.1 billion in reduced expenditure over a ten year period. This is a direct result of the scheme’s success in encouraging people to get on their bikes and cycle to work. At current levels of take-up the WHO analysis shows that the scheme is preventing 509 deaths a year by improving commuters’ health.
 
Phil Insall, Director of Health at Sustrans, said:
 
“Many people have made the point: if a drug were invented tomorrow which promised the disease reduction you can get from cycling to work, it would be regarded as a miracle cure.”
 
Importantly, both employees and employers are attracted to the health improvements the scheme is able to achieve. 85% of users have noticed a health benefit as a result of participating in the scheme, ranging from increased fitness levels and improved lung capacity to reduced stress levels. The desire to stay fit was an important consideration in 89% of individuals’ decision to join the scheme.
 
Equally as important, with absenteeism through ill health estimated to cost UK businesses £32bn per annum, the Alliance’s findings demonstrate the scheme is seen as a key employee engagement and wellbeing tool. 97% of employers currently offering the scheme do so in with the aim of increasing the health of their workforce, thus reducing absenteeism.
 
Mark Brown, Head of B2B Services, Evans Cycles and member of the Cycle to Work Alliance, said:
 
“Improving commuters’ health has always been a central benefit of the cycle to work scheme. This new research helps to quantify this benefit, and shows that both employers and employees are noticing its positive impact. Importantly, it also shows how the scheme is having a tangible impact on health budgets. With the NHS facing constrained finances as the population ages, the cycle to work scheme is one of the few policy levers that is helping the health service alleviate this pressure.”
 
Jane Ellison MP, Minister for Public Health, said:
 
“Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and cycling to work is a great way to ensure regular exercise, especially for those with hectic schedules. I am pleased to see from this report that the majority of participants in the Cycle to Work Scheme, including employers, recognise the benefits of keeping fit, and that many participants have noticed improvements to their health since joining.”
 
Shirley Cramer, CEO of the Royal Society for Public Health, said:
 
“Busy lives and sedentary jobs can prevent individuals from getting the amount of physical activity they need, and cycling to work is a great way to incorporate exercise into daily activities. This research suggests that there can be a financial barrier to purchasing a bike and safety equipment and the cycle to work scheme can help mitigate this. The Royal Society for Public Health is also committed to improving road safety for cyclists so that cycling to work is a safe, healthy activity for all.”
 
Paul Lincoln, CEO of UK Health Forum, said:
 
“Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for non-communicable diseases and places financial strain on the health and social care system, including the NHS. Encouraging people to build physical activity into their daily commute is one effective tool for addressing low levels of physical activity across the population. This report from the Cycle to Work Alliance highlights the critical role of the cycle to work scheme in increasing cycling up-take and promoting physical activity. The UK Health Forum welcomes this research.”
 

Record breaking year for cycle to work schemes

 
Record numbers of employees participating in the cycle to work scheme throughout 2013 could herald a long-term cycling boom in the UK, the Cycle to Work Alliance believes. Reflecting the growing support and momentum behind cycling, 2013 saw the cycle to work scheme reach a new high, eclipsing 2010’s previous peak.
 
Figures released today by the Cycle to Work Alliance, which includes Evans Cycles, demonstrate a 16.4% increase in scheme uptake compared to 2012, with 164,317 employees, in the last year alone, having been encouraged to commute to work by bike as a result of the scheme. Rounding off an exceptional year, Q4 2013 saw an 11% year-on-year increase in scheme participation compared to figures for the final quarter of 2012.
 
This growth marks out the past twelve months as the best year for the scheme as employers increasingly recognise the importance of encouraging healthy lifestyle choices among their staff. The unprecedented level of scheme use reflects the high value employers attribute to the scheme in achieving a healthier workforce.
 
The scheme’s success over the past year demonstrates the core role it continues to play in encouraging new cyclists, in ever greater numbers, to commute to work by bike. The increased profile of cycling in recent times, catalysed initially by the 2012 Olympics and given greater exposure by the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s Get Britain Cycling report, has generated interest among commuters in getting back on their bikes. With Britain set to host three stages of this year’s Tour de France, this trend looks set to continue.
 

Ride2Work Introduction Video

 
We are pleased to launch our Ride2Work video to help explain the scheme benefits and how it all works from an employee’s perspective. We hope it helps to make the scheme easy to follow and even easier to join!
 

Virgin Media & Evans Cycles Charity Partnership for Scope

 
Virgin Media & Evans Cycles Ride2Work has developed a partnership to support the disability charity Scope.
 
Evans Cycles have managed Virgin Media’s Ride2Work scheme as part of its annual Choices voluntary benefits offering since 2012 and as a result of the partnership between the two companies, a percentage of Virgin Media’s initial Ride2Work order has been donated to purchase a variety of cycling accessories and equipment. The equipment, worth over £3,000, has been delivered to 4 of Scope’s special schools around the country.
 
Over 160 items have been donated, ranging from helmets, gloves, hi-vis clothing, to tool kits and maintenance equipment to help their pupils enjoy their cycling, as part of their day to day curriculum, to help them keep safe and become more independent
 
Commenting on the donation, Maurice Daw - Virgin Media's Chief People Officer said:
'In partnership with Evans Cycles, we're delighted to be making this donation to Scope's schools and college, to help the children with their cycling activities. It's an important part of Virgin Media's charity activities of which, we're very proud.'
 
Mark Brown, Head of B2B Services at Evans Cycles said:
'We are very pleased to support Scope in this way via our partnership with Virgin Media, through their company’s Ride2Work scheme.’
 
Imogen Frances Fitzpatrick - Philanthropy and Corporate Partnerships Relationship Manager at Scope said:
‘We are hugely grateful for this generous donation of cycling equipment for our special schools and colleges from the Virgin Media and Evans Cycles partnership. It will really benefit the children and young people who attend these, and means they can now enjoy cycling safely.’
 

I Love My Bike!

 
We have received some great feedback from one of our customers who used our Brighton store for their Ride2Work purchase, please read below:
 
Membership Advisor, David Lloyd Brighton
 
I’ve worked for David Lloyd for over 4 years at the Brighton Marina club, for the duration of my employment I have got the bus to work every day spending over £60 a month and the 3 mile journey sometimes took up to an hour in the Town centre traffic.
 
With my upcoming wedding next year I have decided to make a conscious effort to get fit and when I heard about the cycle to work scheme I thought it would be a great start.
 
The manager from our local Evans store came into the club and told us all about the benefits of the scheme and answered any questions we had (I had loads to ask and he wasn’t scared by my enthusiasm to buy a bell). He gave us our log on for the online system and some free reflective bands for our safety.
 
The website was really easy to use, you could browse all bikes and accessories and work out how much money you would be paying each month out of your wages and how much you would save on tax and national insurance. I found my bike which was £270 and applied for a £400 voucher so I had enough for all of my extras, I also got an extra free £25 voucher to spend on accessories.
 
I went into the store to order my bike, they took a £50 deposit on my card which was refunded when I collected it, I then had to wait a few days for it to be delivered and made. When I went to collect the bike I explained to the sales assistant I would need a lot of help as I knew nothing about cycling, he was great, he helped me pick all of my accessories and safety equipment and even helped show me how to put my pannier on (which was very simple but I was clueless). I then gave them my certificate which had been previously emailed to me and I was good to go.
 
The whole process was really easy, I have now had my bike for just over 6 weeks and I cycle to work every day. The journey now takes me 15 minutes and it’s a great way to wake up before a shift. My bike has just had its first ever service which was free of charge and I had to get the bus to work, to say I’ve missed it would be a massive lie. Every month around £35 is deducted from my wage, this is pre tax and allows me to save the money I was spending before on the bus towards my wedding.
 

Ride2Work Employee Guides

 
We have published new Ride2Work guides covering the different end of scheme options available and these are available to download. Please click on the version you require below to download:
For further information on end of scheme options, please visit www.evanscycles.com/ride2work/transfer-of-ownership-options or contact the Ride2Work helpdesk on 01293 572325
 

The Green Way to Work

 
Users of the cycle to work scheme are saving 112,210 tonnes of CO2 every year, according to new research published today by the Cycle to Work Alliance. The survey also found that the scheme continues to play an important role in encouraging more and more commuters to travel to work by bicycle, attracting new cyclists onto their bikes.
 
The Cycle to Work Alliance’s The Green Way to Work report, which surveyed over 18,500 employees who use the cycle to work scheme, examined why the scheme motivates so many people to commute to work by bike, and how this helps both central and local government meet their sustainable transport objectives. Read the Green Way to Work report
 
Key findings from the report:
  • Users of the cycle to work scheme are cycling over 13 million miles per week
  • 67% would travel to work by car if they did not cycle to work
  • These commuters are saving 112,210 tonnes of CO2 in reduced car emissions. The equivalent of flying from London to New York every day for 87 years!
  • 54% of participants did not cycle to work before joining the scheme
  • 97% of employers believe encouraging their workforce to be healthy was an important consideration in their decision to offer the cycle to work scheme
  • 79% of employers surveyed said improving employee loyalty was also an important element of their offering the scheme
 
The Minister for Cycling, Norman Baker MP said:
“I am delighted to see that the Cycle to Work Scheme continues to grow, and it is encouraging that findings in this report show that more and more commuters are looking towards cycling as their main mode of transport to work.
 
By boosting the number of people who travel to work by bike, the scheme is making a tangible contribution to addressing the Coalition Government’s commitment to reduce the country’s carbon emissions and create sustainable growth.”
 
 

Cycle to work still a great benefit

 
 
Research conducted by Evans Cycles Ride2Work has confirmed that employees continue to take significant benefits from the tax free cycle to work scheme.
 
Evans Cycles recently surveyed over 300 employees from a number of different companies, who had taken part in the cycle to work scheme in the last 6 months.
 
Key findings from the survey include:
 
  • 80% of participants say they have become fitter
  • 60% have reduced their travel costs
  • 55% say they are now happier
 
In response to the question: “In the current economic climate is the cycle to work scheme more or less appealing?” Over 80% of respondents said it is more appealing.
 
The main reasons for participating in a cycle to work scheme were:
 
  • To start cycling to work
  • To get a new quality bike with savings
  • To spread the cost through salary
  • To get fitter
 
Mark Brown, Head of Ride2Work at Evans Cycles commented: “The survey results really confirm just what a valuable benefit this is. The combination of savings and lifestyle benefits is quite unique, and underline why the scheme remains so popular. In the run up to the Olympics it is a benefit we expect to be in high demand.”
 
 
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