French bike repair scheme extended to end of year

The state will invest a further €20 million in the scheme, and double grants for people on low incomes to buy electric bikes.

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The scheme, called Coup de Pouce Vélo, aims to encourage people to use bicycles as a mode of transport in France.

It was launched in May this year, when deconfinement began, giving those who applied a €50 grant to put towards bike repairs.

Over 620,000 bicycles have since been repaired thanks to the scheme, a figure the government hopes will now rise to one million by the end of the year.

It is thought the success of the scheme so far has been boosted by an increase in people cycling as an alternative to using public transport during the health pandemic. Since deconfinement began, cycle lanes have been used 29% more than during the same period in 2019.

As well as helping fund bike repairs the Coup de Pouce Vélo scheme also offers financial support for people who want to learn how to ride a bike.

Increased funding to encourage bike use

Along with extending the scheme to the end of the year, the government will also provide and extra €20 million in funding. This will bring the total investment in the scheme to €80 million, minister for ecological transition Barbara Pompili and minister for transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said yesterday (September 14).

In addition, the ministers announced that grants for people on low incomes to buy electric bikes - which are similar to normal push bikes but which have electric packs attached to help them go faster with less effort - will be doubled. The increase will see state grants of up to €200 made available. This means, along with other grants, electric bike buyers in some areas of France could receive up to €500 in financial aid.

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