If you work at a school, do you normally drive? Have you been toying with the idea of cycling instead? And if you are a parent or carer with a child at school, could you help support teachers to cycle, too?
The amazing Leeds City Council ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme is open to teachers and other members of staff at most local-authority maintained schools in Leeds. You could save £££s off a bike or e-bike through the scheme, which allows you to slice up to 42% off the cost of a new bike or e-bike and accessories worth up to £3,000!
Rachel Gibson, Geography teacher at Allerton High School, recently decided it was time to take full advantage of the scheme. Here’s her story.
“I have commuted to school by bike for years, for two main reasons: the first is environmental – cycling is simply so much greener than using car. The second is health: cycling to work and back every day means that I don’t feel guilty about not doing any other exercise after I get home!
When I moved, though, my new home was just that little bit too far from school for me to go on my usual bike (10 miles). I knew that there was a real risk I would succumb to the temptation of the car keys, and I very much wanted to avoid that. So I decided it was time to invest in an e-bike.
The Cycle to Work scheme made this possible, and it was a straightforward and easy process. My new e-bike made a significant difference to my journey time, shaving nearly 20mns off every journey, almost as quick as going by car. I still feel like I’m getting some exercise in, as I’m pedalling about 80mns every day. And travelling by bike means that it matters less what time I need to leave school to avoid the traffic: on a bike, it takes a similar amount of time, regardless of rush-hour or weather.
I’m not one of those lycra-obsessed cyclists who goes out in groups at the weekends; I just like cycling and want to commute by bike. The Cycle to Work scheme meant that was still an option, even when I moved further away. I just prefer being outside so much more to being stuck in a car.”
The Cycle to Work scheme for Leeds City Council staff is administered through Evans Cycles (though you don’t have to buy your bike from them). Read more about the scheme here.
Have a play with their online Savings Calculator, to see how much you could save.
Once you’re ready to order (check that the bike you want is available), you can apply for your new bike.
Apply for a certificate here, and use these details:
HO-CT02140620 – up to £1500, to be repaid over 12 months
HO-CT02540440 – up to £3000, to be repaid over 24 months
If you need any help or have any questions, please contact: ITB@leeds.gov.uk
You can also get free adult cycle training – either one-to-one commuter training, or ‘learn to ride’ sessions for beginners and refreshers. (This is for everyone, not just LCC staff.)