From 11.45pm this Tuesday, the 28th of July, the Government’s Fix Your Bike Voucher scheme opens with an initial 50,000 £50 vouchers available. If you’ve got a dodgy bike fifty quid is probably enough for a standard service and a spare part such as a brake cable or replacement inner tube.
Boris, famed for his Boris Bikes in London (sorry Barclays and Santander, no one remembers you sponsored them), is keen on cycling and rolling out temporary cycle lanes which are likely to become permanent and proposed changes to the Highway Code to give greater emphasis on vulnerable road users (Pedestrians at the top of the tree followed by bicyclists and horse riders).
Now with two million quid up for grabs, there will be some wins for online sellers who operate offline bike repair shops. Halfords have stuck their stake in the ground eager to hoover up tens of thousands of appointments but there’s still space for others to register as a repairer under the voucher scheme, which you can do on the Energy Saving Trust website. You can find your nearest Fix Your Bike registered repairer here.
For consumers, it’s an ideal time to get those brakes repaired, gears fixed or tyre replaced. The intention is of course that you do your bike up and then ride off the weight you put on sitting at home during the lock down (Becoming a bicyclist on it’s own probably won’t work, but it will raise your overall fitness levels, to get rid of the fat you’ll probably have to eat less and eat more healthily as well). With doctors perhaps soon to prescribe cycling to patients, it remains to be seen how many bicyclists carry on cycling when the winter sets in.
There will be some with a couple of old kids bikes in the shed that will be getting them done up for free and as soon as they’re in ship shape will simply flog them online. Watch out for a glut of old bikes on Facebook, Gumtree and eBay – if you’re in the market for a bike then there could be some recently serviced and repaired bargains to be had. Equally, if you’re thinking of buying a second hand bike online then register for a voucher and get it serviced for free.
Ideally people will only apply for Fix Your Bike vouchers if they’re actually going to ride the bike themselves afterwards. However we know there are always some chancers out there that will take advantage… Please don’t if that’s you as vouchers are first come first served and there won’t be enough for everyone that needs one.