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Cycle to Work

 

Cycle to Work Reform - Pledge NowActive travel minister attends meeting with ACT representatives on Cycle to Work scheme

Published 9th February 2024

See the news story here.

If you haven’t yet registered your support yet you can become part of this movement today and register your support at the bottom of this page.

To support the ACT in this initiative and others invested in your future, you can sign up to become an ACT member here.

 


 

ACT tells parliamentary committee of the need for urgent systemic change to the Cycle to Work scheme

Published 25th January 2024

See the news story here.

If you haven’t yet registered your support yet you can become part of this movement today and register your support at the bottom of this page.

To support the ACT in this initiative and others invested in your future, you can sign up to become an ACT member here.

 


 

Cycle to Work Scheme - An update on our Campaign for Change

Published 19th January 2024

Since the ACT launched their lead initiative in December calling for an immediate change to the way the Cycle to Work scheme is administered – fired by onerous new rules being imposed on retailers by leading provider Cyclescheme - over 400 cycle businesses have signed in support.

The ACT wants to thank you all, update you on where we are at as an industry in the process and encourage you to join our call for scheme reform if not yet onboard.

We can now confirm that a meeting has been scheduled between the ACT and Cyclescheme as the first in a series of provider meetings in the coming weeks. More importantly the ACT will be making representations in Westminster on this issue to members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling & Walking in January.

What are we calling for?

  1. An extension of the scheme rules to apply to the purchase of bicycles and not just for cycling to work.
  2. That the scheme is re-structured to engage all possible workers (including the self-employed, and those on low incomes)
  3. A significant reduction in commissions charged to participating retailers. Fees should be fair and transparent.
  4. A more equitable split with suppliers sharing in the funding of any essential costs incurred by cycle to work providers.
  5. An improvement of payment times from providers to retailers.
  6. Retailer sector involvement in changes to scheme terms and conditions.

This is the start of a process, rather than completion of one. The ACT is acting with the full support of its parent company, the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira), hundreds of independent cycle traders and most critically in the interest of those who use Cycle to Work schemes or simply want to cycle more.

Cycle to Work must be fair to everyone – the provider, employers, retailers and employees – new cyclists.

If you haven’t yet registered your support yet you can become part of this movement today and register your support at the bottom of this page.

To support the ACT in this initiative and others invested in your future, you can sign up to become an ACT member here.

 


 

ACT calls for cycle sector to unite to demand immediate change to way Cycle to Work scheme is implemented

Published 1st December 2023

The Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) has been approached by a large volume of cycle retailers throughout the UK calling for an immediate change to the way the Cycle to Work scheme is being implemented.

The majority are unwilling to speak publicly for fear of being excluded from business opportunities by established Cycle to Work providers.

Now, the ACT – along with parent company Bira, which represents independent retailers across multiple sectors throughout the UK - is calling on all parties to work together to act in reforming Cycle to Work as THE priority growth strategy for the cycle trade and for all UK citizens who want to cycle more. You can register your support at the bottom of this page.

Bike shops are the interface with employees who are using Cycle to Work and have funded the scheme for more than two decades. These retailers are fearful of being punished for seeking to grow the scheme in a manner that allows the cycle trade to make some retained profit.

The time has come for the industry to take steps to reform of the Cycle to Work employee benefit so that it engages all parties in the supply chain, helps realise the full potential of Cycle to Work and most critically, by working together, to get many, many more employees cycling to work.

The Cycle to Work employee benefit scheme introduced by the UK Government over 23 years ago has never reached its full potential and is at risk of losing further momentum at a critical time for the industry and cycle usage in the UK.

The delivery structure of Cycle to Work is flawed primarily due to the lack of direct engagement by the larger entities within the UK trade and the drive for commercial income by the established players in the delivery of the employee benefit.

There are two dominant players in the market: Halfords and Cyclescheme and an ‘alliance’ of providers that appear to put business profits well ahead of cycling development.

Cyclescheme recently imposed an arbitrary change to its partner agreement with retailers to ensure, what it called, “fairer pricing for Cyclescheme customers”.  The move means that retailer partners will be unable to charge additional fees or surcharges on cycle to work purchases made through the scheme. The revised retailer agreement comes into effect on 22nd December 2023.

As an entity within a large US corporate business. Cyclescheme’s published accounts over just the last 12 years (prior to 2022) report profits before tax of over 58% of revenue, that’s c.£55m that could have been re-invested into the UK cycle industry and which has largely been drawn from the £90m+ of revenue from the UK independent cycle retail sector.

Halfords’ approach to Cycle to Work is summarised in this informative article by Barry Scott, founder of gogeta, a new Cycle to Work Scheme provider that is offering partner bike shops the lowest commission fees in the industry.

The independent retail cycle sector has wrongly been the cash cow of Cycle to Work for over two decades and this has to change now.

The recent enforced changes in pricing policy applied by some parties and blamed erratically upon FCA legislation is simply the 'straw that broke the camel’s back'.

Wider industry fears in tackling this long-term issue have been fired by industry lethargy, limited financial exposure for many and the bogey man threat that Cycle to Work legislation might be withdrawn, a fear that an increasing number of IBDs are now viewing as an ‘opportunity’.

At a time when the industry is actively seeking greater support from Government for cycling - including a call for more cycle incentive subsidies – one of the most obvious actions that the industry should take itself is reform of the Cycle to Work employee benefit. Once we have a united, fully participating industry in this area, the ACT believes that there is lots of room for further development with Government, especially around electric incentives that the car industry benefits from with Government support in the UK.

The ACT adds that alternative schemes are in place charging as little as 3% commission, but the industry needs to come together to win employer schemes, put aside brand competition and focus on collectively winning more cyclists and make more of Cycle to Work together.

If you haven’t yet registered your support yet you can become part of this movement today and register your support at the bottom of this page.

To support the ACT in this initiative and others invested in your future, you can sign up to become an ACT member here.

 


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The ACT urges ALL cycle businesses interested in reforming Cycle to Work to actively engage in this campaign. Pledge your support by filling in the form below.

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