Membership of cycling clubs quadruple as Government Cycle to Work scheme celebrates its fifth year
The popularity of cycling in Ireland has soared over the last number of years. According to recent figures from Cycling Ireland, memberships to cycling clubs have almost quadrupled from 5,000 in 2008 to 19,300 in 2013. There are now 350 registered cycling clubs in Ireland compared to zero in 2011 and the number of approved cycling events has also risen from 350 in 2008 to 950 in 2013. Reflecting this surge in popularity, there are now 395 bike retailers in Ireland versus 260 in 2011.
This marked increase in the cycling industry in Ireland can mainly be attributed to the government led Cycle to Work scheme launched in 2009, which has seen tens of thousands of people avail of the tax incentive and start cycling to work. Ireland’s success in cycling on the world stage with cyclists such as Martyn Irvine has also helped place cycling on Ireland’s sporting agenda while the government’s €7 million investment in cycle routes since 2012 which will see an additional 334 kilometers of cycleway by the end of 2014 has also contributed to Ireland’s growing cycle-friendly culture.
The Cycle to Work scheme can be availed of by employees every 5 years, so One4all’s Bikes4work division is reminding Irish employers and employees that they can once again avail of this initiative in 2014. Bikes4work helps employers with the management and execution of the scheme and makes it easier for employees to both understand their options and choose the particular type of bike and equipment they need.
Michael Dawson, CEO, Gift Voucher Shop Ireland said; “Since the Cycle to Work scheme launched in 2009, cycling has really taken off and this trend looks set to continue in 2014. To date, we have issued almost 20,000 Bikes4work vouchers and over 2,000 companies are signed up to this scheme. Those who originally signed up in 2009 can now take part again, avail of this great Government initiative and upgrade their bike and equipment at any of our hundreds of bike retailers nationwide.”
“Cycling to work has many benefits. Not only will you save money on public transport or fuel costs but it also cuts down lengthy commute times and it’s a great way to integrate low impact exercise into your day.”
Bicycles and safety equipment can be purchased from hundreds of bike retailers nationwide, tax-free up to the value of €1,000 with a One4all Bikes4work voucher provided by employers. The bike and safety equipment can be paid for over a maximum 12 month period resulting in savings of 31% - 52% off the original retail price.
To find out more about the One4all Bikes4work scheme, visit www.bikes4work.ie