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Monday 20th August 2018

One of the many reasons we choose to commute by bike to work is because it's quicker than public transport. The other bonus (apart from the cost of maintenance of the bike/clothing) is that it's cheaper too. If you live and work in London, Vanquis Bank have completed some research into how much exactly can you save when choosing to get to work by bike, it's enough for another bike or 2!

Cycle to work schemes in London could save participants up to £1,812 a year, research by Vanquis Bank has revealed. Further benefits of opting into a cycle to work scheme include improved fitness and a contribution to the upkeep of mental health. Introduced in 1999, cycle to work schemes have become an ever increasing employee benefit, for both large and small companies, allowing employees to spend up to £1,000 on bikes and equipment. Certain schemes allow employees a higher amount.

 

More than two million people across the UK now cycle once a week, according to British Cycling, with many being part of a cycle to work scheme. On average 65% of scheme users have increased the amount of cycling they do, by around half an hour, since opting in. The cycle to scheme works on a “salary sacrifice” basis, meaning that part of the salary is exchanged to hire a bike for a 12-month period. If based on the standard £1,000 voucher, the monthly instalments will be split across the year. Further benefits are that participants will not have to pay tax and National Insurance on their monthly instalment, as they are taken directly from the gross salary.

To put this in perspective participants that live in London and currently commute with a monthly travel card could save up to £1,812 a year, with a minimum amount of £684.

There are two options available at the end of the 12-month contractual agreement. Firstly the bike can be purchased from the employer at a discounted rate or the hire length can be extended.

Non-financial benefits

 

Cycling is also a great way to maintain your mental health. A study conducted by The Mental Health Foundation indicated that low-intensity aerobic exercise, for 30–35 min, on 3–5 days per week for 10–12 weeks was optimal for improving positive moods.

 

Exercising outdoors is a great way to keep fit and get some fresh air. Being at one with nature is another added benefit, overall the great outdoors is a fantastic way of lifting our moods and simultaneously reducing stress.

Cycling can boost your self-esteem by encouraging riders to look at life in a different and more positive perspective. Another great reason for signing up for a cycle to work scheme. Many studies and researchers have found that there is a direct link to lower rates of depression and anxiety, once regular exercise has been integrated into a weekly routine.

 

All in all, exercise is a key component to maintaining peace of mind, and a well-balanced lifestyle. Keeping active enhances endorphin levels, increases alertness in the morning and helps you end the day feeling great. Speak to your employer and find out what scheme they are part of or whether they are planning to join a scheme in the near future. To sign up online, your employer would need to provide you with a unique employer code.

 

Further information and suggested cycle routes can be found at https://www.vanquis.co.uk/about/community-work/benefits-of-cycle-to-work-scheme-on-the-wallet

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