Access to bike schemes for people on low incomes






August 2023 – July 2024




Project summary

Research and policy work to understand cycling uptake and the associated benefits for individuals and society from offering financial support to people on a low income to access a cycle.


In 2021 Sustrans’ Walking and Cycling Index found only 37% of residents on low incomes had access to a cycle. This compared to 60% in professional occupations. However, many people struggle to make journeys due to transport costs, whether public or private. A cycle can be the answer, be it a bicycle, e-cycle or non-standard cycle, acting as a low-cost form of transport – aside from the initial purchase cost. 70% of residents on low incomes would find access to a cycle useful to start cycling. In 2019, 19% of residents from low-income households found the cost of a cycle stopped them from cycling, equating to approximately 2 million adults across the UK.

Project overview

Research to gauge appetite, model, and test plans for an effective cycle scheme covering standard, e-cycles and non-standard cycles, amongst people who earn less than £17,000 a year whether employed, self-employed or not working. They will make and advocate for recommendations, with main focus on Westminster, as well as to nation Governments and local authorities.