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Expanding the Cycle to Work scheme

  • 08-11-2014 5:57pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 947 ✭✭✭


    So after a friend saying they were going to stand-up paddle to work, I joked there should be a paddle to work scheme... of course my friend was all for it!

    It got me thinking any means of transport which gets people fit and active regardless of whether they use said means for getting to work should be incorporated into the scheme, I don't use my tax-reduced bike to cycle to work... do you?! Items such as roller-blades, skateboards and of course stand-up paddle-boards should be tax-deductible.

    What say ye? Why should it be limited be bikes anyway?!


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ezra_pound


    fobster wrote: »
    So after a friend saying they were going to stand-up paddle to work, I joked there should be a paddle to work scheme... of course my friend was all for it!

    It got me thinking any means of transport which gets people fit and active regardless of whether they use said means for getting to work should be incorporated into the scheme, I don't use my tax-reduced bike to cycle to work... do you?! Items such as roller-blades, skateboards and of course stand-up paddle-boards should be tax-deductible.

    What say ye? Why should it be limited be bikes anyway?!

    The scheme isn't about getting people fit. It's about making transport in Ireland more sustainable.

    The benefits should be expanded for bikes. 1000 euro e every five year is not good enough.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,894 ✭✭✭UCDVet


    ezra_pound wrote: »
    The scheme isn't about getting people fit. It's about making transport in Ireland more sustainable.

    The benefits should be expanded for bikes. 1000 euro e every five year is not good enough.

    Hasn't it been shown that vast majority of cyclists switch from public transport though? Or was that just Dublin Bikes?

    I thought public transport was more sustainable than cycling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 947 ✭✭✭fobster


    ezra_pound wrote: »
    The scheme isn't about getting people fit. It's about making transport in Ireland more sustainable.

    The benefits should be expanded for bikes. 1000 euro e every five year is not good enough.

    I agree that the scheme's aim isn't to get people fit it's merely a byproduct if people use the bikes they have bought.

    What would you suggest? Two options of 1500 every 5 years or 1000 every 3 years?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ezra_pound


    fobster wrote: »
    I agree that the scheme's aim isn't to get people fit it's merely a byproduct if people use the bikes they have bought.

    What would you suggest? Two options of 1500 every 5 years or 1000 every 3 years?

    Well. I don't know but I think that it should be at least as somewhere comparable to getting a tax saver public transport ticket. As it stands the car is king with token tax incentives for public transport but huge cost and poor service with cycling coming in last place.


    It should be turned around on its head.

    It is still expensive to cycle to work I believe.

    This should be changed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ezra_pound


    UCDVet wrote: »
    Hasn't it been shown that vast majority of cyclists switch from public transport though? Or was that just Dublin Bikes?

    I thought public transport was more sustainable than cycling.

    Cycling is more sustainable than public transport.

    The only thing more sustainable than cycling is walking.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭Aard


    In terms of calories expended per km, cycling is even more efficient than walking. Also has the advantage over bus of being point-to-point.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,180 ✭✭✭hfallada


    ezra_pound wrote: »
    Well. I don't know but I think that it should be at least as somewhere comparable to getting a tax saver public transport ticket. As it stands the car is king with token tax incentives for public transport but huge cost and poor service with cycling coming in last place.


    It should be turned around on its head.

    It is still expensive to cycle to work I believe.

    This should be changed.

    A tax saver ticket is often cheaper than student ticket. So I wouldnt call it a "token tax incentive".Public transport in Dublin is cheaper for adults than in most European cities.

    Its extremely to argue that cycling to work is expensive. You can pick up a decent second hand bike for €150. Most car tax in Ireland for the year is 3 times the price of that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ezra_pound


    hfallada wrote: »
    A tax saver ticket is often cheaper than student ticket. So I wouldnt call it a "token tax incentive".Public transport in Dublin is cheaper for adults than in most European cities.

    Its extremely to argue that cycling to work is expensive. You can pick up a decent second hand bike for €150. Most car tax in Ireland for the year is 3 times the price of that.

    So I take it you cycle then.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    ezra_pound wrote: »
    So I take it you cycle then.

    I cycle to work. My bike cost less than 300, new.

    What are people spending thousands on? Racing quality bikes? It's for commuting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ezra_pound


    hfallada wrote: »
    A tax saver ticket is often cheaper than student ticket. So I wouldnt call it a "token tax incentive".Public transport in Dublin is cheaper for adults than in most European cities.

    Its extremely to argue that cycling to work is expensive. You can pick up a decent second hand bike for €150. Most car tax in Ireland for the year is 3 times the price of that.

    OK.

    I'm sorry but are you seriously implying that someone can cycle to work for 150 euro a year?
    Because yea I'm sure you could drive for the same cost but you'd be a reckless public liability. The same with cycling. The average commuter would spend near150.00 a year on repairs and lights.


    Re taxsaver ticket I presume what you mean to say is that after all tax at marginal rate is taken into account at 52% it is often cheaper than a student ticket.

    What European cities are you talking about? It can cost e20 to get from darndale to tallaght and back. I have never been in any European city in which a similar journey is possible.

    Your point about MOTOR TAX is not of significance because cars aren't exclusive of bikes. You can have a car and still cycle to work and pay that motor tax. I am assuming that people pay motor tax in saying that the cycle to work scheme needs to be increased.

    The problem is this:

    1. Car ownership is very high so you cannot presume that people don't pay motor tax nct motor insurance regardless of how they get to work. In fact motorists are your target audience for any incentive-and they are unlikely to give up their car in order to cycle to work. So pro cycling incentives MUST assume that all of these charges are also to be paid.

    2. People who cycle to work also need to use public transport sometimes at weekend etc- which public transport commuters won't have to pay for.

    3. So cyclists in many cases are still paying many of the costs of motoring and are not benefiting from free weekend public transport.

    ---

    The issue is that cycling is essentially a competitor to taxsaver and sould be given a similar scale benefit every year. There are big costs included in cycllng that come up every year like repair and lights. Then there's the extra clothing needed.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ezra_pound


    pwurple wrote: »
    I cycle to work. My bike cost less than 300, new.

    What are people spending thousands on? Racing quality bikes? It's for commuting.

    Have you paid for any repairs the last year? Do you still pay motor tax? Do you still spend money on public transport?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    ezra_pound wrote: »
    Have you paid for any repairs the last year? Do you still pay motor tax? Do you still spend money on public transport?

    What has any of that got to do with your claim that 1000 euro every five years on bikes is not enough? It's loads! How much do you think dutch people spend on bikes?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    I'd expand it to cover teenagers' bikes with the aim of getting a few more to cycle to school.

    ......but first the lack of secure bike storage at our schools would have to be addressed (my sons' school is less than 5 years old and has 8 bike spaces!).

    As for adults, I'd leave the €1000 every five years in place (I think it's enough) but bring in a second tier of €2,000 (every five years) for electric bikes.

    I'd also zero rate for VAT purposes all helmets and safety gear including and especially lights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,468 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    There should be rules regarding showers and changing rooms being provided by all business IMO to go along with this CTW scheme

    hfallada wrote: »
    Its extremely to argue that cycling to work is expensive. You can pick up a decent second hand bike for €150..

    a proper set of lights wouldn't leave you a whole heap of change from the same amount, never mind the bike...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,180 ✭✭✭hfallada


    ezra_pound wrote: »
    OK.

    I'm sorry but are you seriously implying that someone can cycle to work for 150 euro a year?
    Because yea I'm sure you could drive for the same cost but you'd be a reckless public liability. The same with cycling. The average commuter would spend near150.00 a year on repairs and lights.


    Re taxsaver ticket I presume what you mean to say is that after all tax at marginal rate is taken into account at 52% it is often cheaper than a student ticket.

    What European cities are you talking about? It can cost e20 to get from darndale to tallaght and back. I have never been in any European city in which a similar journey is possible.




    The issue is that cycling is essentially a competitor to taxsaver and sould be given a similar scale benefit every year. There are big costs included in cycllng that come up every year like repair and lights. Then there's the extra clothing needed.

    Yeah I know plenty of Germans who brought second hand bikes here and used them for a year. It only costed them the price of the bike which was around €150. I have only had one repair to my bike in 3 years and I use it 3-4 times a week. It cost me €60 from a garda bike auction and it was in perfect condition. Lights are a once off cost and repairs can vary greatly in price.

    A ticket in a the outer rings of Munich, where most people live are anything from €100 a month to €200 a month. Why should the cycling get the same funding as tax saver ticket? Constant handouts are the reasons why we have a Government deficit. Even the Government doesnt know how much the cycle to work scheme costs them


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    There should be rules regarding showers and changing rooms being provided by all business IMO to go along with this CTW scheme

    .......

    They tried it in the last place I worked - basically they wanted to bring down the cost of car parking. So they re-vamped the showers and put in extended changing facilities (including underfloor heating and decent sized lockers); pushed the C2W scheme; arranged training for anyone who wanted it; organised (and paid :) ) for myself and two other regular cyclists to go meet people and cycle in with them; ran competitions (I was excluded :mad: ) for most km cycled; set up a group on Strava etc.......in all out of a workforce of 110, only 1 person was still cycling three months later........but we had much nicer showers.

    I'm not sure what the answer is and better facilities are part of it, but I don't think they are deciding factor for a lot of people.
    hfallada wrote: »
    Yeah I know plenty of Germans who brought second hand bikes here and used them for a year. It only costed them the price of the bike which was around €150. I have only had one repair to my bike in 3 years and I use it 3-4 times a week. It cost me €60 from a garda bike auction and it was in perfect condition. Lights are a once off cost and repairs can vary greatly in price.

    A ticket in a the outer rings of Munich, where most people live are anything from €100 a month to €200 a month. Why should the cycling get the same funding as tax saver ticket? Constant handouts are the reasons why we have a Government deficit. Even the Government doesnt know how much the cycle to work scheme costs them

    C2W is not a handout - in fact I'd wager it brings in more in VAT receipts, employers PRSI, employees PAYE & PRSI, commercial rates etc than is 'lost' through the award of the tax relief.

    Put it another way - if the scheme ended tomorrow would bikes be bought at the same rate they are being bought now? Bikes attract VAT at the Standard rate, currently 23% - C2W doesn't impact the cost of a bike (in fact it's probably driven prices up as retailers recognise there is a demand), therefore the government gets the full 23% VAT on the bike.

    Plus I'd say that bike shops were one of the few businesses to do well during the recession - they certainly seemed to be one of the few types of business where new operations were being established.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭Aard


    Jawgap wrote: »

    I'm not sure what the answer is and better facilities are part of it, but I don't think they are deciding factor for a lot of people.

    I agree. The perception of safety is a far greater hurdle to getting somebody to try cycling. Once somebody starts cycling to work, unless it's a long cycle (say >5km) there should be no need for a shower or change of clothes. That said, there is huge pressure to try to cycle as fast as possible otherwise you tend to get beeped at. If cycling infrastructure allowed people to cycle at a reasonable pace, nobody would be sweating by the time they reached the office.

    Imo this is something for local authorities to fix, and not something that private companies can do alone. Similarly, forcing private companies to provide showers (assuming not a huge workforce/floorplate) is just increasing the cost of doing business with little return.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ezra_pound


    pwurple wrote: »
    What has any of that got to do with your claim that 1000 euro every five years on bikes is not enough? It's loads! How much do you think dutch people spend on bikes?

    The Dutch don't need incentives to get their (not) fat arses out of their cars and onto bikes. The Irish do. The current incentive is not enough. It needs to be increased to an annual scheme.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 ✭✭✭Iwannahurl


    pwurple wrote: »
    I cycle to work. My bike cost less than 300, new.

    What are people spending thousands on? Racing quality bikes? It's for commuting.


    I paid substantially more than that, but still well short of the maximum. The new bike was a huge improvement on the old one, as in a lot lighter and faster, which helps with commuting.


    fobster wrote: »
    I don't use my tax-reduced bike to cycle to work... do you?!

    That's the big question, isn't it? My circumstances changed after using the BTW scheme, but I still use the bike for the school run. IWH-OH cycles to work every day.

    While I'm glad to see more bikes on the road generally, I'm not happy that people are using BTW Scheme bikes solely for leisure purposes, while commuting to work by car during the week. That is against both the spirit and the letter of the scheme.

    I've also been led to believe that there has been substantial abuse of the scheme. For example, is there any way to find out how many lawnmowers were bought instead of bikes?

    In typical Irish fashion, lots of bike shops are (a) not dedicated to cycling and (b) willing to bend the rules in order to make a sale.

    I was in Halford's one day, last year I think it was, and I heard the assistant refuse to let the scheme be used for the purchase of children's bikes. The gist of the conversation, however, was that there were other bike shops in the city who were less, er, pedantic.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,497 ✭✭✭ezra_pound


    hfallada wrote: »
    Yeah I know plenty of Germans who brought second hand bikes here and used them for a year. It only costed them the price of the bike which was around €150. I have only had one repair to my bike in 3 years and I use it 3-4 times a week. It cost me €60 from a garda bike auction and it was in perfect condition. Lights are a once off cost and repairs can vary greatly in price.

    A ticket in a the outer rings of Munich, where most people live are anything from €100 a month to €200 a month. Why should the cycling get the same funding as tax saver ticket? Constant handouts are the reasons why we have a Government deficit. Even the Government doesnt know how much the cycle to work scheme costs them

    Cycle to work should be at a comparable level because government wants more people cycling.

    If I get a taxsaver bus pass at 1.2k @ 52% = paying about 570 net

    Or cyclist who uses bus twice at weekend paying a fiver a week on bus
    Say 250 per annum on bus

    By the time he pays his lights batteries new wheel inner tubes and new rain gear he's over the 500 in that one year.

    And in order to benefit from tax scheme he has to wait another few years.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    pwurple wrote: »
    I cycle to work. My bike cost less than 300, new.

    What are people spending thousands on? Racing quality bikes? It's for commuting.

    I added to the €1000k when I bought my bike under the scheme and I've since bought a more expensive bike to replace it on the commute.

    Why? because I have a very long commute (100km round trip) and I want to do it as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

    My 'day-to-day' bike (to and from the shops etc) is a single-speed I got secondhand for about €200. I've commuted on it a couple of times but it's not a practical proposition.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    ezra_pound wrote: »
    The Dutch don't need incentives to get their (not) fat arses out of their cars and onto bikes. The Irish do. The current incentive is not enough. It needs to be increased to an annual scheme.

    It's not about the value of the bike. The people at my workplace who spent the most on the bike, did not cycle to work more than once or twice. I'm currently the only one in a workforce of 100+, who uses the bike to get to work. We have showers etc. i don't use them, my commute is short, I don't need it.

    I live close to work, deliberately so. It was part of the considerations when moving house. We moved to an area where we could only afford a small house, but location meant we didn't have commutes. This is not the way most of the population behave. They move further away from cities, to have a larger house.

    The ctw scheme is missing a couple of things in my opinion. For one, children's seats or trailers are not included. I have kids to drop off on my way to work. I walk them there, walk back home and get on my bike. That's not realistic for most people.

    There are some cycle lanes on my commute, but I don't use them, they are too dangerous. They tend to be full of broken glass, potholes, there are 4 lamposts plonked in the middle of them. They start and end up on massive kerbs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,852 ✭✭✭trellheim


    The average commuter would spend near150.00 a year on repairs and lights
    As someone who's commuted in for last 15 years on the same clunker, that made me laugh.

    30/40 quid a year max, including batteries, brake blocks, cables and new tubes. The odd new tyre every couple. Most people massively over buy the bike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,985 ✭✭✭Seaswimmer


    trellheim wrote: »
    As someone who's commuted in for last 15 years on the same clunker, that made me laugh.

    30/40 quid a year max, including batteries, brake blocks, cables and new tubes. The odd new tyre every couple. Most people massively over buy the bike.

    Depends on the distance. I am doing my current commute (40km round trip, 5 days a week) and have worked it out at €10 per week over the 8 years I am doing it. I started off with the bike so didnt buy that.

    Clothes, tyres, tubes ,wheels, servicing, parts ect,. I dont know how anyone could get away with 30 to 40 a year cycling everyday unless its only a couple of KMs..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 ✭✭✭Iwannahurl


    It's going to cost me €10 to replace a tube today. All because I let my child cycle about 350 metres along one of Galway City's unswept cycle lanes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 167 ✭✭Jem72


    I no longer commute by bike but did so for 15 years in Dublin. To suggest that it costs several hundred euro per year is quite frankly absurd. For most of my commuting time, I used second-hand clunker steel-framed steel-wheeled racers but I've always done my own bike maintenance.

    When I took on a 35km round trip, I bought a relatively good mountain bike (about 500 euro to which I added hydraulic discs for another 200) and my annual consumables for nearly 9,000km a year consisted of about 5 tyres, 10 tubes, a set of brake shoes and a few spokes - maybe a gear cable or two. I am able to true my own wheels so if you were paying somebody to that you'd probably want another hundred or so. Lamp batteries can be rechargeable and as such of minimal cost.

    I did this for 5 years and still have the bike 10 years later on much lower mileage. It has needed a chain and some derailleur sprockets, but everything else is still fine. If you're paying 10 euro for a tube, try a different shop. Chain Reaction do a 10-pack for around 30 quid - that's cheap enough to keep a spare in the saddlebag and just bin the punctured tubes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,468 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    trellheim wrote: »
    As someone who's commuted in for last 15 years on the same clunker, that made me laugh.

    30/40 quid a year max, including batteries, brake blocks, cables and new tubes. The odd new tyre every couple. Most people massively over buy the bike.


    how long is your commute? a tyre only lasts about 2000km so you're looking at at least one set a year I'd imagine, if not more. brakes about the same. Regular servicing, lubes, grease etc every 3 months or so.

    It's super cheap, but not that cheap. I guess if you don't care about keeping the bike in a decent and safe condition you might be able to spend less than 100 per year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,468 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    It's going to cost me €10 to replace a tube today. All because I let my child cycle about 350 metres along one of Galway City's unswept cycle lanes.

    patch it, save a tenner :)
    though personally I don't bother doing that any more either


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,852 ✭✭✭trellheim


    how long is your commute? a tyre only lasts about 2000km so you're looking at at least one set a year I'd imagine, if not more. brakes about the same. Regular servicing, lubes, grease etc every 3 months or so.

    It's super cheap, but not that cheap. I guess if you don't care about keeping the bike in a decent and safe condition you might be able to spend less than 100 per year.

    Oil etc and keeping it in reasonable order ( enough for the job ) I do myself unless its sprockets and derailleurs, which on this bike happens about once every 9 years. As for that new tyres every few years. As long as you've good brakes and lights and properly inflated tyres that's all I'm worried about . This bike is now on year 22 and that's what I throw into it every year.


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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 67,449 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011


    If they're going to increase the amount they need to seriously look at excluding racers and/or making sure people actually use the damn things. There's roughly ten people in work who've bought a bike on the scheme and ONE of them cycles to work.

    I suspect providing employer incentives for secured storage and showers is a much better use of funding than anything more to the end-user at this stage.


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