The soaring cost-of-living means it’s a worrying time for many workers across the UK. Energy prices have risen to unprecedented levels and are set to increase further in the autumn. Supermarket till receipts show the cost of food is rising and tough decisions are being taken by families as they choose between heating and eating.
Transportation costs are increasing with car ownership becoming more expensive as insurance premiums rise and fuel costs soar. Public transport is also facing a surge in ticket prices with the highest train fare rises for nine years in England and Wales. As employees struggle with the cost of commuting, employers should consider stepping in to help their workforce to budget and save money.
On top of the current financial crisis, pressure is mounting for organisations to reduce their environmental impact and achieve net zero status. However, addressing the climate emergency is about more than switching to electric vehicles. Multiple studies warn that driving overall must be reduced to hit climate targets. Mindsets need to be reset with people evaluating all their transport options and choosing active travel when they can.
Although sustainable and active transport modes may not be practical in every situation, if more people choose cycling or walking for short journeys, we will start to see a difference. Roads will become safer, less congested and easier to use for those that need to. The quality of the air we breathe will improve, our mental and physical health will benefit, as will the health of planet Earth.
Employers have a crucial role to play and should encourage a positive change to commuting habits. Giving employees access to the Cycle to Work Scheme is a natural first step. The scheme is a great way to reduce, or in some cases eliminate, car running and public transportation costs. Under the scheme, employees are encouraged to ditch the car and switch to cycling for their commute. Getting to work under their own steam will help employees make significant savings at the same time as improving their health, and that of the environment.
Green Commute Initiative’s Cycle to Work Scheme gives access to significant savings of 33.25% to 48.25% on any type of cycle. The amount saved depends on the employee’s tax bracket and personal circumstances. The salary sacrifice payments come from the employee’s gross salary, reducing their tax and NI obligation which is how they make the savings. The interest-free payments can be spread over 3 to 48 months making it a very manageable monthly expenditure for employees.
Green Commute Initiative (GCI) has made the accessing the Cycle to Work Scheme easy and hassle-free. GCI does not have any unnecessary ‘ownership fees’ thus helping employees make the maximum possible savings available to them. GCI’s Instant platform is pay-as-you-go with a 24-hour turnaround time, perfect for SMEs.
When more people cycle, everyone wins including the environment. Green Commute Initiative is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a vision for a cleaner and healthier future for everyone.