Scottish Borders Council has awarded a £150,000 contract to a major bike supplier to encourage local authority staff to cycle to and from work.
Halfords Ltd was the chosen supplier out of one of five bidders for the contract which has now been awarded.
The deal reflects a ‘salary sacrifice scheme’ allowing council employees to pay for purchases by authorising a tax exempt deduction from their wages over a fixed period.
Similar schemes already exist to allow SBC staff to buy child care vouchers and a range of home technology equipment, including iPads and Smartphones.
The council makes a saving on its National Insurance contributions for each participating member of staff.
“Cycles and accessories will be available from Halfords as well as six partner stores in the Borders,” explained a council spokesperson.
“Staff can place an order through one of these stores for approval by the council and, once approved, the employee receives a voucher to collect the equipment.
“The sum due is recovered from the employee’s salary. It is intended the contract will remain in force until March 31, 2019.
The contract states: “The bicycles purchased under this scheme will be used by employees for cycling to and from work and for work-related purposes.
“By encouraging our staff to cycle to work we will help reduce the carbon footprint of the Borders while encouraging our staff to become more active and take regular exercise.”