The goal of the recent Irish Finance Bill is to provide a tax incentive of a maximum of €3,000 to families intending to invest in a cargo bike, and use it for business and transport trips instead of a van or car.
The incentive that was offered through the Bike to Work scheme starting January 2023 has a higher ceiling, which is part of a past allowance of €1,500 for electric bikes bought through the scheme or a maximum of €1,250 for standard bicycles.
Eamon Ryan, the pro-cycling Minister for Transport, made the announcement this week, proposing a change in the law caused by an increase in e-bikes and bicycle tax breaks beginning in 2020.
According to the minister Ryan, “the increase in the ceiling will aid in making cargo bikes cheaper for people opting to buy a new bike under the Bike to Work scheme. In the last few years, the popularity of cargo bikes has increased as many people are using them to take their kids to school, go shopping, and deliver business goods and services for customers.”
The minister noted that the cost component was hindering a large number of people from purchasing one and hoped that raising the limits for cargo bikes would enable a greater number of people to choose them as a sustainable method of moving around.
The minister talked of the need for courier and delivery companies to transition much faster from trucks and vans to cargo bikes, highlighting the government’s commitment to helping this transformation, particularly for the last mile part of the delivery service.
He said, “In the near-term future, we expect to see a change in the way road space is allocated, as more space will be made available for public transport, pedestrians, cyclists, and cargo bikes, radically changing the way we use our roads.” He concluded by sharing his optimism about seeing a greater number of cargo bikes on our roads in the near future, thanks to the deliberate effort to make them cheaper for more people.
Currently, the ministry is exploring different options and alternative proposals to popularize the use of cargo bikes. For example, the National Transport Authority is intending to kickstart a bicycle library program to visit schools and show parents a cargo bike, demonstrating the bike’s ability to transport huge loads to those interested in learning more about eBikes.