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News - 25 March 2011

Nearly 1000 join tax-free bikes scheme

Numbers of Brighton & Hove council staff buying discounted bikes under a government scheme are expected to top 1000 this summer.

Any organisation, public or private can join the scheme.

For the last four years the local authority has participated in the tax-free bikes programme, aimed at encouraging eco-friendly travel.

This means staff can borrow money for a bike and pay it back out of their monthly salary.  They pay no tax or national insurance on the sum and it means bikes are effectively about 30 per cent cheaper. No costs are incurred by the council to provide the scheme.

In the first four years, to May last year, 724 employees spent nearly £400,000 on bikes and cycling equipment.

Another £200,000-worth of loans available this year is expected to attract hundreds more purchasers.

A council report recommends renewing its deal with an employee benefits company called P&MM.  In renegotiating the contract the council secured slightly bigger discounts for staff.

Cabinet councillor for environment Geoffrey Theobald said, “We are trying to provide the city with a good range of transport choices. So as well as winning awards for car parks and bus services, we’re also encouraging our staff to cycle through this scheme.”

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