Over half of younger Britons ride a bike.

New evidence showing the growing popularity of cycling has come from a YouGov poll conducted in the wake of the Government announcement of an investment of £94m to encourage more people onto the saddle.

The survey reveals the number of 18-39 year olds who cycle has reached 52% with 16% riding at least once a week.

The results coincide with the launch of Cycle To Work Day on Thursday 12thSeptember aimed at inspiring even more people to try commuting by bike.

To mark the day Halfords is offering FREE bike safety checks, a FREE puncture repair kit and 20% off selected cycle accessories for cyclists calling at its Bikehut stores.

The YouGov poll reveals that over two thirds of the population (69%) support Government action to get more people onto two wheels.

Top of the measure that would encourage Britons to cycle more often are more dedicated cycle lanes in towns (43%) and improved safety on the roads (37%).

One in four (25%) admits the British weather puts them off, while 20% call for safer storage of bikes at railway stations and places of work.

Low on the list is the provision of free or cheap bike hire with just 14% saying it would help them cycle more.

Halfords Keith Scott said: “It’s clear that more people than ever are keen to take up cycling. Cycle To Work Day provides an added inspiration to those thinking about trying a different way of commuting, to get on their bike.

“We want to ensure that those taking their bike out onto the roads are safe so we are offering free safety checks in our Halfords Bikehut departments along with a free puncture repair kit and 20% off selected cycle accessories on the day.”

The Cycle to Work Alliance, the umbrella group promoting the Cycle to Work scheme, report a 25% increase in uptake in the past year with 44,000 people signing up in the first six months of 2013 as the UK bike boom, buoyed by Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome’s triumphs, continues.

Overall more than half a million people have now joined Cycle To Work which provides employees with a tax free loan saving up to 42% on the cost of a bike.

Ends

Notes to editors:

This offer excludes Halfords stores in ROI

The cycle to work initiative is a tax-efficient, and on the whole, salary-sacrificed employee benefit that provides a way of encouraging more adults to take up cycling. Introduced in the 1999 Finance Act, the scheme encourages employers to loan bicycles and cycling safety equipment to employees as a tax-exempt benefit for the purpose of cycling to work. Under the scheme, employers buy cycling equipment from suppliers approved by their scheme administrator, and hire it to their employees whom are able to access savings of up to 42% off the price of the bike. At the end of the loan period, the employer may choose to give the employee the option to purchase the equipment.

For further information about Halfords Cycle to Work Scheme click on www.cycle2work.info

About Halfords Group plc

The Group is the UK’s leading retailer of automotive and leisure products and, through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK’s leading independent car servicing and repair operators.

Halfords customers shop at 467 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland and at Halfords.com - for collection at their local store or direct home delivery.

Halfords Autocentres operates from 290 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs, and car servicing at affordable prices.

Halfords employs approximately 12,000 staff and sells around 10,000 different product lines in stores – increasing to around 16,000 lines at Halfords.com. The product offering encompasses significant ranges across car parts, in-car technology, car seats, roof boxes, outdoor leisure and camping equipment as well as cycles.

About Pure

Pure is a world leading consumer electronics manufacturer and leads the way in music streaming and radio systems and entertainment cloud services with the Pure Connect portal www.pureconnect.com  as well as innovating in new areas such as the TV set top box market. Designed and engineered in the UK, all of Pure’s products are manufactured with the environment in mind and at ethically audited facilities. Pure is a division of Imagination Technologies Group plc. See www.pure.com.

About Us

Halfords is the UK's leading retailer of automotive, cycling and leisure products and, through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators. Halfords customers shop at 465 stores in the UK and ROI and at halfords.com for pick-up at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from around 300 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices. The Halfords group strategy is based on three pillars: · Supporting Drivers Of Every Car · Inspiring Cyclists Of Every Age · Equipping Families For Their Leisure Time The Getting Into Gear strategy for the Retail business is based on executing in five key areas in order to deliver a significantly-enhanced customer experience: · Service Revolution · The H Factor · Stores Fit to Shop · 21st Century Infrastructure · Click with the Digital Future Halfords employs approximately 12,000 colleagues and sells around 9,000 product lines in store, increasing to around 160,000 Retail products online. The Retail offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycling products, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes and camping equipment. Halfords’ own cycling brands include Apollo, Carrera and Boardman cycles, augmented by a range of other brands of cycles and accessories, including Kona, Mongoose, Raleigh and Pinarello. In Auto, the Halfords Essentials and Halfords Enhanced ranges are sold alongside brands such as Generic Electric, Bosch, Garmin and TomTom. The Retail Auto offering was recently augmented by the introduction of Car Parts Direct, a service delivering rapid customer access to around 130,000 car parts. In Travel Solutions, Halfords sells a premium range of camping equipment including brands such as Vango and Outwell. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a service for cycles.