There is hope that more families will use cargo bikes for trips such as shopping and the school run after the allowable limit for the larger bikes was raised to €3,000 under the Bike to Work scheme.
The Ministry of Transport has asked for the EUR 3,000 limit to be raised again in order to encourage greater use of cargo bikes.
Cargo bikes can cost significantly more than regular bikes or e-bikes, both of which face an increase in Bike to Work program limits in 2020.
Under the program, an individual can write off their income tax on the purchase price of a new bicycle used for commuting to and from work.
The cost of the bike comes from their pre-tax salary, meaning someone with the higher tax rate is effectively buying the bike for half the price.
Some employers have also chosen to contribute to the remaining cost of the bike, and employees often choose to pay off the cost over several months.
Previously, anyone wanting to buy a cargo bike could only take advantage of the tax-free limits available on bikes, which were €1,250 for standard bikes, locks and security gear, and €1,500 for bikes with an electric assist motor. From January 1st, it will be raised to 3,000 euros for cargo bikes, including electric bikes.
Cargo bikes often have large bins or seating in the front or back that can be used to transport large items and are often used to take younger children to school and daycare.
The Bike to Work program aims to encourage the public to cycle to and from work. The initiative allows employees to donate part of their salary to a bicycle and/or safety gear to be used primarily for commuting to and from work.
The purchase is not a taxable non-cash benefit and can be made at any store.
Environment Minister welcomed the change of his cabinet colleague Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.
Mr Ryan said this increase will help make cargo bikes “more affordable” for those who choose to buy a new bike under the Bike-to-Work scheme.
“Cargo bikes have become increasingly popular in recent years as many people use them to take their children to school, to shop, and as delivery vehicles for work purposes,” he said.
“However, the cost factor is a barrier for many people who might want to buy one. We hope that by raising the limits on cargo bikes, more people will be able to choose them as a more sustainable mode of transportation.
“We also need to see our courier and delivery companies transition from vans and trucks to cargo bikes at a faster rate, and we are looking at ways to support this transformation, particularly for the last mile element of their deliveries.
“In the coming years, a reallocation of road space away from private vehicles towards public transport and space for pedestrians, cyclists and cargo bikes will play a major role in how our roads are used.”
The Department of Transport is also examining other ways to increase the number of cargo bikes.
In addition, the National Transport Authority intends to pilot the bike library concept at a number of schools over the coming year so parents can experience the use of cargo bikes and other family bikes and be confident that they would use them before investing .
Bike activists also welcomed the move and also called for the bike-to-work scheme to be expanded to other uses.
Umbrella organization Cyclist.ie said: “This is a doubling of support under the Bike to Work scheme for those who want an alternative electric vehicle, e-cargo. No huge car loans. ️No parking fees. No traffic problems. Driving pleasure at its best. Costs a few cents for trips up to 100 km.”
Sligo Cycling said on Twitter: “Great news! We look forward to having an E-Cargo or more at our next Pedal Parade. Congratulations to everyone who fought. Part of giving people the choice of transportation. And yes, we also need the infrastructure.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/hopes-cargo-bikes-can-replace-more-family-cars-as-bike-to-work-limit-increased-to-3000-42085265.html Hoping cargo bikes can replace more family cars as bike-to-work limit is raised to €3,000