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On Tuesday 28th July 2020, a new government scheme in England is being launched as part of plans to get more people out on their bikes again.
These new ‘bike repair vouchers’ have come after a new obesity strategy was launched in Britain, with Public Health England research concluding those who are overweight or obese are at a higher risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.
Indeed, government statistics showed that nearly 8 per cent of critically ill patients in intensive care with coronavirus have been morbidly obese, compared with 2.9 per cent of the general population.
So, what exactly is this new bike voucher scheme? And how do I get a bike voucher?
What Is The Bike Repair Voucher Scheme?
The bike voucher government scheme basically offers you a £50 discount on your bicycle repair should it need fixing. Though, it should be noted it is only available in England, not across the entire UK.
An initial 50,000 vouchers will be made available to those who have registered online here from Tuesday, with reportedly up to half a million provided in the long-run.
They are being released in batches so as to monitor the success of the scheme incrementally, and comes after the coronavirus pandemic has sparked a ‘cycling boom’.
You’ll also be entitled to a free bike assessment to deduce whether any work on your bicycle is needed. To that end, James Scott, Cycling UK’s director of behaviour change said:
“While shops reporting a shortage of bikes for sale, Cycling UK estimates there are just over 16.5 million unused bikes in England – ‘shed’ bikes so to speak.
“Most of their ailments, like loose brakes, skipping gears or incorrect saddle height, are all things which Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival can fix for free right there on the spot.”
Which Bike Shops Accept The Government Vouchers?
All bike repair businesses that have registered to join the scheme will be able to accept the vouchers, providing they meet the eligibility criteria, including holding £2 million public liability insurance.
This includes market leaders like Evans Cycles and Halfords, who have both got on board with the scheme. Evans Cycles are offering a ‘Road Ready Service’ for just £35, while you can sign up for your discounted repair and 32-point bike assessment with Halfords here.
A full list of bike repair shops and mechanics accepting these vouchers is available on the Energy Saving Trust’s website.
How To Claim Your Bike Repair Voucher From The Government
‘How do I get a bike voucher, then?’ I hear you ask. It’s easy – just follow these three simple steps on how to get bike shop vouchers from the UK government:
- Sign up for the voucher scheme from 11.45pm on Tuesday, July 28 via the Energy Saving Trust website (you can also register as a repairer here).
- Apply for a £50 voucher once registered.
- If successful, book an appointment with the nearest repair shop accepting these vouchers.
- For your appointment, take your bike, a form of ID and the voucher with you while your bike is initially assessed. Then, you can leave your bike at the shop while the necessary work is done.
And that’s all you need to know on how to get the bike voucher scheme. Your bike will then hopefully be fixed, and you can ride freely along the slightly less-congested roads or the newly-introduced cycling lanes again.