I have been reliably informed that the Cycle Purchase scheme (Bike to Work) has been
withdrawn. CycleWight feel that this decision must be reviewed.
It is hard to understand this decision as the Island promotes itself as ‘Eco Island’; this action
does not appear to suggest this. The Council has just decided to make an application for up to
£5 million to central government to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. Some would see the
decision to withdraw this facility of the Cycle Purchase scheme as suggesting that the Council is
not fully behind this bid, the main theme being cycling and walking.
The Council, thankfully in these difficult times, has continued to support the Cycling Festival,
which makes the decision not to support local cyclists even more difficult to comprehend.
From the beginning of May, the Wight Cycle Challenge is taking place, which specifically sets
out to encourage people to cycle and will last for three weeks. The Council is one of the cosponsors
of this initiative!
I have recently cycled from Newport to Ryde at morning rush hour. The traffic queue is from
Coppins Bridge back to the East Cowes roundabout. This surely is the biggest advert for
supporting the Bike Buying scheme.
I do understand that it is administratively time consuming but when with economic stricture is so
harsh, one way people can save money is to cycle. With County Hall staff doubling in the next
few years, one could visualise County Hall accommodating this increase of people with their
cycles but certainly not with their cars.
I have spoken to three local bike shops who are all upset and mystified by the decision. The
scheme demands a contribution from them which they are willing to make for the benefit of
cyclists and the community; as well it supports local business.
CycleWight hope that this decision is something that can be reflected upon and amended. At
the end of the Cycle Challenge in May, those enthused by the experience of cycling and wish to
buy a bike through the scheme will want to be able to do so. They will save money by not using
their car, the environment will gain in innumerable ways and local cycle retailers will continue to
prosper and support the entire local community.
On behalf of CycleWight we look forward to your reply