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Departmental Staff (Bicycles)

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tax efficient schemes for the purchase of bicycles his Department makes available to its employees; how many and what percentage of his Department's staff purchased bicycles through such schemes in 2005-06; whether the schemes are available through a range of suppliers; and whether arrangements are made to enable staff with disabilities to purchase adapted bicycles from a specialist supplier. (90066)

DEFRA does not operate any tax efficient schemes for the purchase of bicycles by its employees.

Advances of salary are available at the Department's discretion, to assist staff with the purchase of a bicycle and essential equipment, for travelling between home and office. This arrangement is also available to staff with disabilities requiring specialist equipment. The advance–above 50 and up to a maximum of 600–is repayable over a maximum period of 12 months.

Travelling by bicycle is strongly encouraged as part of DEFRA's sustainable travel strategy, and is promoted via dedicated pages on the DEFRA staff intranet, and some offices have their own bicycle user groups.

A large number of DEFRA offices offer a range of facilities for cyclists including: secure cycle storage; lockers; drying facilities; and showers.