Cyclists brand Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme a ‘shambles’ as website crashes

CYCLISTS have branded the government's new Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme a "shambles" as the website has crashed on its launch.

Vouchers that entitle users to £50 off bike repairs became available on the The Energy Saving Trust website at 11.45pm yesterday.

But social media users report struggling to get hold of the vouchers and the website is still down this morning.

A note on it simply reads: "Due to extreme volumes of traffic this resource has been temporarily paused whilst we take action to improve performance for users.

"Please try again later today."

Just 500,000 vouchers are being made available as part of the government's new initiative to get people moving and to cut obesity rates.

But vouchers are being releases in stages, with only 50,000 made available last night. It's unclear how many vouchers, if any, will be available to redeem today.

You can apply for two vouchers per household in England but only one per bike can be used. The scheme isn't available for those in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales.

The idea behind the scheme is to get bikes fixed, so you can't use the vouchers to purchase bikes or accessories.

Instead, they'll cover fixes to tyres, brakes, saddles and lights, including the replacing of certain components.

Vouchers can also only be used at selected retailers signed up to the scheme, although major firms including Evans and Halfords are taking part.

There’s a separate page on the Energy Saving Trust’s website which helps you track down where your nearest participating shop is, although this page is also currently down.

Where repairs cost more than £50 it's up to you to fund the difference.

We've rounded up the cheapest bikes to buy online, including from Halfords, Amazon and Argos.

Google Maps has recently updated its system to now let you find out where you can rent a bike nearest to your home.

And here is a list of the best bike lights you can buy this year.

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