French cyclists can now claim a 20-cents-per-kilometre incentive for every kilometre they pedal to and from work under a pilot scheme launched this month. A rider with a 10-mile commute into work will be entitled to £128 every month.
The initiative aims to encourage more people to cycle to work.
A total of 10,000 employees are involved in the trial, which could be expanded next year if successful.
France is not the only country to offer its citizens financial encouragements to switch to bicycles. In Belgium, employers are entitled pay staff a tax-free allowance equivalent to 28 pence for every mile they commute to and from work.
By comparison, the British government appears a little mean. Britain’s Cycle to Work Scheme offers workers a tax-free loan with which to buy a new bike, but business travel by bicycle can be reclaimed at only 20 pence per mile.