Manchester-based LEVA-EU member Insync Bikes has welcomed Boris Johnson’s prediction that cycling will experience a golden age once lockdown ends.
The Prime Minister made the comments during Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday when he said a crucial part of the success in helping life return to normal would be getting transport to run safely.
He told Parliament: “There will be a huge amount of planning going into helping people to get to work other than by mass transit. This should be a new golden age for cycling.”
The comments have been welcomed by Insync Bikes, owned by India’s Hero Cycles, which, says it is seeing strong sales of family range of bikes as cycling fell under the government’s list of permitted daily activities.
Eddie Eccleston, Insync Bikes’ head of European Operations, said: “We are heartened to hear the Prime Minister’s prediction that the boom period the sport is experiencing will continue as the UK starts to rebuild itself. Insync has long championed cycling as a force for good and so we are delighted to have watched people of all ages embracing cycling during the last six weeks.”
“Cycling is proven to boost the immune system and improve sensitivity to vaccines, as well as strengthening physical health. There are also huge benefits to mental wellbeing, which is a priority during such difficult times. We look forward to seeing the growth of cycling as a means of transport when more people begin to return to the workplace.”
With an increase in cycling expected, Insync called on local authorities to do more to support safer cycling in towns and cities across the UK. In Greater Manchester, where Insync’s Hero Global Design Centre is based, plans for a £1.5 billion Bee Network include 1,800 miles of protected space across the city region, which are expected to lead to a 350 per cent increase in cycling.
Eddie said: “It is encouraging to hear of the value local authorities are placing on cycling and we would urge others to go the extra mile to make it easier and safer for people of all ages to get into riding.”
Insync said e-bikes will also have a role to play in getting more people commuting, giving the physical benefits of a regular bike but with an extra push to allow riders to arrive at work sweat free and with more energy for the day ahead.
The business is also backing a package of measures presented to the government by the Bicycle Association, which include:
- Funding, guidance and leadership for local authorities so that they can make changes to their local roads to enable people to cycle safely from home to work and to other destinations such as high street shops. This includes extensive networks of ‘pop-up’ bike lanes, closing roads to through car traffic, and reallocation of road lanes to create space for cycling.
- A zero VAT ‘holiday’ for all bikes, e-bikes, and cycle repairs.
- A short-term £250 per bike purchase grant to promote e-bikes.
- A £50 per customer voucher scheme for repairs.
- Extending the Cycle to Work scheme.
- Adult refresher cycle training across the country.
- Funding and planning easements to help employers provide secure cycle parking for their workers.