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Government’s bike voucher scheme website crashes on launch

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The wheels have come off the government’s plan to get the nation cycling, with a website offering £50 vouchers for bike repairs crashing at launch.

The government launched the “Fix your bike” scheme yesterday with the first batch of 50,000 bike repair vouchers due to become available online just before midnight.

But potential cyclists keen to get their hands on the £50 vouchers were frustrated to find the website was down shortly after launch.

People who tried to register for a voucher received an “Error 404” message and were unable to access the site.

According to reports on Twitter, a handful of people managed to secure a voucher before the site went offline.

Sky News reports that the website eventually started working at about 4am.

Cyclists who want to register for a voucher are directed from the government website to a website run by the Energy Saving Trust.

But those trying to register this morning received a message saying: “Thank you for your interest in the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme. There are no vouchers available right now. Vouchers are being released gradually to reflect the capacity of the bike repairers signed up to the scheme. More vouchers will be made available as soon as possible.”

The government website also directs users to an Energy Saving Trust map of participating bike shops so cyclists can plan where they can get a repair. But clicking on this link also takes users to the message above saying vouchers aren’t available, with no map appearing.

Frustrated users took to Twitter to complain, using the hashtag #FixYourBikeVoucherScheme.

The government says that by encouraging people to get old bikes fixed and safe to ride, the scheme will help more people choose cycling over public transport as a convenient way to travel.

Vouchers will be released in batches in order to help manage capacity across participating stores.