CHESTER’S new council is the only authority in the UK to pay councillors to cycle to work.
Cheshire West and Chester is offering 40p a mile expenses to cycling members in a unique effort to reward those cutting down on petrol consumption.
Gowy member Hugo Deynem said the green scheme raises awareness of sustainable travel and demonstrates how CWaC is committed to addressing the issue of climate change.
He said: “I think that Cheshire West is one of the first if not the only council in the country to offer the same allowance for cycling to work as driving a car.
“I do not cycle to work as often as I should but if the council facilities were improved and included showers then I think more councillors would cycle.
“As member champion for climate change I am personally very supportive of any change in expenses that encourages more sustainable travel by councillors.”
The Local Government Association confirmed that CWaC is the first authority in the UK to offer such a scheme.
It comes at a time when the expenses of MPs and politicians are being called into question following a number of embarrassing public admissions.
The authority have reduced the petrol mileage rate from 58p a mile – which was claimed under Cheshire County Council – to 40p a mile which can now also be claimed by councillors who ride to meetings rather than drive.
A CWaC spokeswoman said: “This is an environmental incentive to try and persuade our members to use pedal power for local meetings and leave the car at home. We decreased the car allowance and provided an incentive to use the bike instead.”