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Gocycle to pay employees to commute by bike

Company will pay 40p per mile for e-bikes and 20p per mile for normal cycles

Joe Robinson
10 Apr 2019

E-bike maker Gocycle is putting its money where its mouth is and will become the first UK business to pay its employees to commute to work by e-bike.

According to company founder Richard Thorpe, the scheme will see all Gocycle employees able to claim back 40p per mile for each commute when they choose to travel to Gocycle's Chessington headquarters by e-bike rather than by car.

Those choosing to commute by normal powered cycles will also be rewarded to the tune of 20p per mile.

Thorpe announced the scheme at the UK E-bike Summit this morning, with the former McLaren design engineer emphasising that action is needed to move more people towards more sustainable and healthy transport as cities approach congestion 'breaking point'.

'Our cities are at breaking point with traffic congestion resulting in pollution levels that are causing health problems and premature death. It is no longer acceptable to do nothing; we all have a role to play no matter how small,' said Thorpe.

'At Gocycle we truly believe that e-bikes are the perfect solution to help us live healthier and more sustainable lifestyles. We can’t wait for government policy to change, and it’s no good expecting others to act first.

'So we’re starting with what we can do now and taking direct action to reward our employees for making the switch to more sustainable and healthy transport.'

Thorpe used the platform to challenge fellow UK business to follow suit by giving its employees a viable incentive to switch from the car to the bike.

While this idea is a first among UK businesses, similar ideas have been explored in Europe. The Italian city of Bari, for instance, is currently trialling an incentive that pays cycled commuters €25 per month to ditch their cars – although in this case those using regular bikes are granted more money than those on e-bikes.

A study last year found that one in ten employees feels they are less productive if they commute by car or public transport than active travel. More tellingly, 95 per cent of those who do not use active travel to get to work have considered cycling or walking but are put off by the cost of purchasing a bike and fears over road safety.

The average commute distance in the UK, according to YouGov statistics, is 8.8 miles.

As an example, commuting from the suburban town of Beckenham in south-east London to London Bridge, a journey of approximately 8.6 miles, would cost at minimum £1,444 per annum by train, not taking into account any potential station parking costs or further transport once in London.   

Taking that figure as an average for Gocycle employees using an e-bike to commute to their Chessington base, and a single employee could be looking at compensation to the tune of £1,830.40 per year, just for having cycled to work.

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