Boost your commute and cycle to work

Posted on September 3, 2015 by Brynna Gabrielson

AU Cycle Scheme CPHow much good does your daily commute do for you? If you're trapped in a train or tube, or driving along in a car, then probably not much good at all. What if we could tell you there's a way you can get to work that will save you money, better the environment, make you healthier, and give you awesome helmet hair? Just kidding on that last one, but jokes aside, cycling is a fantastic way to give your commute more purpose then just getting to work!

At Simplyhealth we're big fans of cycling, and we encourage our employees to take it up as a method of commuting. We even offer a cycle scheme which allows employees to purchase a bicycle and gear, up to £1000 in value, and then pay it off via their monthly payroll. Even better, we use salary sacrifice to do so, saving our employees on both tax and national insurance.    

We talked to a couple of Simplyhealth employees to find out why they're fans of the Cycle Scheme, and here's how it's benefited them.

Chris Parsons (pictured right) lives just seven miles from our offices in Manchester, yet with traffic it can take him a whopping 25 minutes to get to work each morning. He purchased his bike through the cycle scheme in April and cycles to work whenever he needs to be in our Manchester office, about 2-3 days each week. The journey takes him a little longer then driving, but it has definitely made a real difference to him as he's lost nearly two stone since starting!

When asked about the scheme he said, "It was recommended to me by a colleague and I would certainly recommend it to others. It's a great way of getting exercise whilst avoiding the rush hour traffic. We all have busy lives, especially if you have small children. So the opportunity to get some time to yourself and exercise is perfect, it's a much less stressful way to go to and from work."

AU Cycle Scheme PCPaul Crudgington (pictured left), another member of the Manchester team, joined the cycle scheme last April as well. He lives four miles from work and finds that cycling takes nearly the same amount of time as driving. Though he doesn't get on his bike as often as he'd like to (he cycles to the office once or twice per week) he's pleased the scheme has helped him save money on a great new bike and has cut down the amount he has to spend on petrol. Aside from the savings, Paul says cycling has also contributed to making him healthier.

Still not convinced? Here are five great reasons to start cycling to work. 

Save money on your bicycle

If your workplace, like Simplyhealth, offers a cycle scheme then not only will you be able to pay your bicycle off monthly via your payroll, but with salary sacrifice you could also be saving money on tax and national insurance.

Save money on your commute

If you're cycling each day you won't need to fill up the tank on your car nearly as often! Think of all the savings you could be making. And maybe you'll find you can do away with the car completely and then you won't have to pay for insurance, or monthly payments, or repairs! And if you're skipping a tube or bus journey you'll be saving money there too!

Fit more exercise into your day

The NHS advises we get 150 minutes of exercise each week. If cycling takes you just 15 minutes each way, and you cycle Monday to Friday, then that takes care of your entire weekly exercise quota!

Avoid traffic

There are few things more frustrating than bad morning traffic. On a bicycle that could be a thing of the past! You won't have to stick to roads, you can venture off onto paths and take routes less travelled. 

Help the planet

In 2013 CO2 accounted for more than 80% of the greenhouse gasses emitted by the UK1. As CO2 is one of the main players in global warming, reducing how much we put out into the atmosphere is important. An average new car sold in 2015 emits 124.6g of CO2 per km2. This means that even if you're driving a new, more efficient car, an 8km (nearly five mile) commute each way would rack up nearly 2KG of CO2 per day! And that number could be much higher for older vehicles. Over a year, imagine how much you could reduce your CO2 emissions by choosing to pedal instead of pressing the gas!