Halfords is today launching a nationwide initiative aimed at the seven million British adults who have bicycles ‘languishing’ in sheds and garages.
The ‘Get Back On A Bike’ campaign is designed to encourage these cyclists to consider cycling when they return to work. Halfords stands ready to perform a free 32-point check on neglected bikes and in addition, has produced a series of easy to follow ‘how to’ maintenance videos.
The prime minister told Parliament last week that Britain should be entering a new ‘golden age for cycling‘, while on Saturday, transport secretary Grant Shapps set out a £2 billion programme to expand cycling and walking, including an immediate £250 million fund for infrastructure improvements and a voucher scheme for cycle repairs.
“There has been a huge increase in cycling during the lockdown, but even so there are millions of people in our towns and cities who have bikes they never or seldom use,” said Graham Stapleton, CEO of Halfords. “For the good of our health, the environment and the NHS, now is the time for commuters to change their habits, get their bikes checked, and start cycling to work.”
Despite the success of the Government’s cycle to work scheme and an expansion of cycling infrastructure in recent years, only 4% of commuter journeys are completed by bike, while cycling accounts for just 2% of all journeys. In the Netherlands, it’s 27%.
“We welcome the announcement by the secretary of state and look forward to seeing the details of the National Cycling Plan in June,” added Stapleton. “We are encouraged by the scale of the Government’s ambition and commitment to a joined-up approach across national and local Government.
“Bringing forward the planned trial of e-scooters is also a very positive move as we believe e-scooters, as well as e-bikes, can make a valuable contribution to solving our commuting conundrum.”
Halfords says employers should start talking to their colleagues now about commuting options and may want to consider relaxing dress codes to make it easier for people to cycle to and from work in suitable attire.
“Most people won’t be going back to their workplaces for a few weeks so they could use this time to refamiliarise themselves with cycling. Increasingly we are also seeing more members of the public turn to electric bikes to help them get to work and navigate longer journeys. We offer a wide range of electric bikes, which now facilitate journeys of up to 60 miles on one charge,” said Stapleton.
Chris Boardman added: “Yet again bikes have proved to be a robust and reliable form of transport in a crisis. Using them to make short journeys to work and school will not only help us through this difficult time, they can be part of a better, sustainable future for us and our families. If we enable people to keep doing what they have discovered in the past few weeks to look after their mental and physical health, we will not only be helping our NHS through this crisis we will be protecting it long-term.”
Customers are advised to book their free check in advance online in case of high demand, however, they are welcome to visit their local store and see if there is a technician available. To book click here.