Bicycle seller calls for Government grant to help retirees buy bikes

Electric bicycle seller Pure Electric has called for the Government to subsidise cycling equipment for around a million pensioners as part of a new proposal it says would get the elderly exercising more.

The company said that a Government-backed 20% discount on bikes for the over-65s, and an up-front loan for the remaining 80%, would help some of the six million over-55s who are currently classed as “inactive”.

Pure Electric estimates that around one million pensioners would take part in the scheme over four years if it was adopted by the Government.

They would apply for a voucher for the full cost of the bicycle equipment up front, and the Treasury would recoup four fifths of the cost by deducting the money from the state pension.

The scheme would cost around £1 billion up front, but with £800 million recouped over the years.

Peter Kimberley, Pure Electric chief executive, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the benefits of regular exercise and cleaner air.

“We understand the Treasury is under considerable pressure, but this money might make the difference between the elderly deciding to stay in or taking up a new activity.”

It would mirror a similar scheme that has run for the last 20 years which encourages employers to help their staff buy bikes.

“Cycle to Work has been so successful over the past two decades, and now’s the perfect time, particularly given the new lockdown, to build on that by targeting the 12 million over 65s who aren’t in work and can’t qualify for it,” Mr Kimberley said.

“It doesn’t seem fair that working age people have been able to access Government support to enjoy the benefits of cycling but retired people can’t.

“We’d love to see other bike retailers, sporting bodies, charities and MPs join with us and back this idea.”

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