France to increase fund for repairing bikes

More than 62,400 bikes have been repaired thanks to France’s new cycling plan ( plan vélo ), which offers €50 towards repairs for old bikes.

After the successful take-up, the total of the grant fund is being tripled, Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne announced yesterday.

It means the fund, which started on May 11 with a total of €20million allocated, will increase to €60million in its bid to encourage people in France to cycle instead of using public transport or their car in the months to come.

Mrs Borne said: "We are aiming for a million refurbished bikes by the end of the year."This fund makes it possible to finance a €50 grant for the repair of a bicycle within a referenced network of repairers, listed on the Fédération des Usagers de la Bicyclette (FUB) website.

The fund can also be used to finance temporary bike parking spaces and training to learn or relearn how to ride a bicycle. The second option is available on the dedicated platform. You must select ‘je suis un particulier’ and ‘je souhaite me remettre en selle’.

The minister said: “I've been fighting to change the way people look at cycling for a long time, especially as 60% of journeys in France are less than 5 kilometres.”

To benefit from the grant, you apply at this website by choosing ‘je suis un particulier’ and ‘je souhaite faire réparer mon vélo’.

You will be able to find someone to repair your bike and book an appointment. It is recommended to pre-register on the website, giving your name, date of birth, and phone number. When you go to the repair outlet, you must have a proof of ID and your mobile phone as you will receive a code via SMS. The €50 grant will be directly taken into account on your final bill.

The minister also plans to include a bonus for the purchase of electric bicycles, with a simpler system than the present one. Currently, the amount of the grant for the purchase of an electric bike varies in each city and cannot exceed €200. You must apply both at the mairie and on the government’s dedicated platform to benefit. If your mairie offers €150 towards the purchase of an electric bike, for example, the government will give €50.

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