As London emerges from lockdown and public transport is used to get key workers from point A to B, one of the biggest growing trends in the capital is the demand for bike shops and cycle repairs. The queue for Halfords in Tottenham is often around the block, and cycle lanes bulge with Bromptons and Pashleys as city folk opt for a safe way to go about their daily shopping trips and commutes.
Given this upturn in two-wheel travel, it’s unsurprising that the government has unveiled plans to boost the UK’s cycling and walking revolution. What we didn’t see coming, however, was the prime minister’s £2 billion investment in zero-emission transport in order to tackle health and environmental challenges.
The strategy includes building thousands of protected cycle routes, tackling cycle safety, bike theft and traffic offences, as well as encouraging NHS doctors to prescribe cycling for its physical and mental health benefits – including patient access to bikes through their local surgery.
Undoubtably, the best bit of the whole thing is the announcement of a public pilot scheme: Boris is issuing £50 vouchers for you to get your bike roadworthy and back in action! The first 50,000 are available on a first come, first served basis from the Energy Saving Trust website from 11.45pm tonight (Tuesday July 28).
Who’s eligible? Adult and children’s bikes are covered by the scheme, with a limit of two per household.
What’s covered? Typically, £50 will cover the cost of a standard service and the replacement of a basic component such as inner tubes or cables. Any remaining repairs will need to be covered by a customer contribution.
Where can it be used? Repairs can be conducted at any participating shop, you can find a full list of those here. The voucher is valid for two months following registration.
Now, all that remains is to get your rusty ass back on the seat and to crank those tired legs into gear – there’s only one way to fix those and it’s on yer bike!
Need to brush up on your cycling skills? Sadiq is here to help.
Looking for a scenic route? Try one of these beautiful bike rides from London.