Press release: APPCG response to the March 2016 Budget
All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group response to the March 2016 Budget
There was no more money announced for cycling in this week’s Budget but the All Party Cycling Group has welcomed the news that the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme will continue to operate as normal.
Ruth Cadbury MP: The Chancellor announced further large investments for road building, but on a national level cycling continues to receive small amounts of money and well below the £10/ head that was recommended in the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report.
Alex Chalk MP: We are delighted to see that the ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme will still be available to employees, as three-quarters of a million people have already benefitted from this excellent initiative.
The APPCG wrote to the Chancellor regarding the Cycle To Work scheme, prior to the budget:
Rt Hon George Osborne MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
1 Horse Guards Road
9th March 2016
We are writing as the chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group to express our support for the government-backed Cycle to Work Scheme and to urge you, ahead of the Budget, to ensure that it remains in place as a key national policy tool for increasing participation in cycling. The scheme has an important role in achieving the Government’s manifesto commitment to double the number of journeys made by bicycle.
With HM Treasury’s ongoing review of salary sacrifice schemes and speculation that further policy action relating to salary sacrifice could be announced at the upcoming Budget, we believe that it is important that the scheme – and the salary sacrifice mechanism that underpins it – remain in place.
The scheme is an effective and cost-efficient way of driving behavioural change and encouraging non-cyclists to undertake physical activity. Over 500,000 individuals are currently commuting to work by bicycle through the scheme. Recent research undertaken by the Cycle to Work Alliance found that 62% of participants in the scheme were either non-cyclists, novice cyclists or occasional cyclists before joining the scheme, and having joined the scheme 79% of respondents described themselves as en-thusiastic cyclists who cycle regularly.
The scheme plays a key role in delivering government policy in relation to public health and sustaina-ble travel. It also plays a key role in improving employee wellbeing, reducing absenteeism and improv-ing productivity in the workplace. The scheme is critical to the success of the UK bicycle trade, with the scheme delivered in partnership with over 2,200 independent bike retailers, the majority of whom are small, regional businesses.
Ruth Cadbury MP & Alex Chalk MP
All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group