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Fix Your Bike scheme reported to have closed with only 4 in 5 vouchers released

400,000 vouchers have been issued under £25m scheme to get unused bikes back on the road

The Fix Your Bike scheme launched amid great fanfare last year by transport secretary Grant Shapps has reportedly closed with only four in five of the £50 vouchers enabling people in England to get unused and neglected bikes back on the road having been released.

The £25 million initiative, announced in May last year as the Department for Transport (DfT) made active travel a key part of its strategy for emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, envisaged 500,000 vouchers being made available to the public, but to date just 400,000 have been released in four tranches.

The first two batches of 50,000 vouchers each were released last year, the first in late July, and two further releases of 150,000 vouchers each followed earlier this year.

The page on the Department for Transport’s website giving details of the scheme was updated yesterday and now includes a statement reading: “The voucher scheme has been hugely popular, and all vouchers in all 4 releases have now been claimed.

“We continue to work closely with industry to monitor the scheme’s impact. Any updates on future releases of vouchers will be published on this page.”

However, repairer registration has now been closed and an article on Cycling Industry News suggests that the scheme itself has closed – a point upon which is seeking clarification from the DfT.

The initiative has proved highly popular with the public, with all vouchers snapped up within a short time of being released, although it is not known how many have actually been redeemed.

However, during the scheme’s operation, some businesses involved in cycle maintenance and repair have reported bike owners deferring servicing while waiting to see if more vouchers become available, affecting the usual flow of workshop business, while others highlighted delays in receiving payment for vouchers submitted to its operator, the Energy Saving Trust.

The repair sector has also been affected by the global shortage in parts and components sparked by the coronavirus pandemic and exacerbated by logistics difficulties including soaring shipping costs.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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DonnyJohnny | 3 years ago

Having replaced the cables myself, a local bike shop (Cycle Supreme) indexed my gears and adjusted the brakes, front and rear, on a old bike of mine, whilst Halfords merely examined another  bike and stated that they couldn't finish a part completed cable replacement and stated that the brake pads needed replacing, the brakes required bleeding and the bottom bracket needed changing all for a further £120. They refered to it as an "assessment " but actually did nothing for the £50 they claimed under the Fix your Bike scheme.

Sriracha replied to DonnyJohnny | 3 years ago

Odd that, the pre-service assessment is free. Are you sure the price quoted was not the gross price, before the voucher was taken into account? There is no way they can cash in the voucher for a coat of looking-at, although once it is 'attached' to them you can't take it elsewhere, as I understand.

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