Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Bike scheme portal to open Wednesday as 25 approved for disabled bike purchase

rain on bike umbrella

The bicycle purchase portal reopens on Wednesday for conventional bikes, having on Tuesday pre-approved 25 applications for the purchase of bicycles for the disabled from 183 people who registered.

The transport ministry had opted for this two-pronged approach after the site crashed last week amid unprecedented interest as thousands visited www.podilato.gov.cy to apply for a grant under a new scheme aimed at promoting eco-friendly transport.

The €570,000 scheme is part of the €4m Energy and Climate and sustainable mobility national scheme that will operate in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

It provides for subsidies of up to €200 per city, road, or mountain bike of not more than €1,000 plus VAT. Bicycles for people with disabilities will be subsidised with up to €800 or the purchase price, whichever is lower. Eligible parties are Cypriots and other European citizens and third-country nationals residing permanently in the Republic, who are over 18. Each person will be subsidised for the purchase of one bicycle.

After last week’s deluge of interest sent the portal crashing, the ministry decided that applications for the disabled be handled separately from those for convention bikes. The portal was upgraded to prepare for higher traffic, and a new procedure announced so as to better manage applications.

Antonis Minides, advisor to the transport minister, said he was confident all will go smoothly.

“We are certain that as was the case today, there will be no problem at all. The system has been bolstered and we believe there will be no problem with the operation of the portal,” he told the Cyprus News Agency.

The portal will open at 9am.

Minides said that the total budget for new conventional bicycles for 2021 is €100,000 which corresponds to 500 applications, provided these are for the maximum sum of €200. He said that if there are applications for bicycles lower than the subsidy, then funds left over will cover those on the runner-up list.

The grant will be paid once the applicant submits a receipt and a photograph of the bicycle.

There were a total of 1,700 visits to the portal on Tuesday.

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