The wheels are coming off Boris Johnson’s Fix Your Bike scheme.
Brits hoping to get back in the saddle using the PM’s £50 repair vouchers will now have to wait until next year.
And some bike shops who carried out work under the programme say they have been left out of pocket.
Around 50,000 vouchers were snapped up within minutes when the scheme was first launched in July.
Now officials have admitted the next round – of just 28,000 vouchers – will not be released before next year.
This is despite a promise to issue 500,000 of the freebies to fight obesity and help the environment.
As a result, bike mechanics across the country have reported a drop in business as customers put off any repairs until the next vouchers come out.
Alex Parsonage, a bike restorer from Leytonstone, East London, said: “I know the woefully inadequate Fix Your Bike scheme is but a pebble in the ocean of government incompetence, confusion and U-turns, and thankfully, unlike so many of their other cock-ups, it probably hasn’t caused any actual deaths or life-altering disasters.
“But it’s staggering they could fail to do something as simple as give everyone a voucher to get their bike fixed.
“The online launch was delayed, then it crashed, then all the vouchers released were gone in hours.
“Bike shops now report that people have been putting off getting their bike serviced for months and are therefore either not riding, or riding potentially dangerous bikes because they don’t want to spend money on a service when they know the next tranche of vouchers might be released at
Bike shops can sign up to offer the service by registering on the Government website – but many say they have been struggling to redeem the vouchers after carrying out repairs.
Some have not been paid at all.
A Cycling Industry News survey found none of the mechanics polled had been paid on time.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The Fix Your Bike scheme has been hugely popular.
“Further vouchers will be made available when we are confident there is enough capacity for people to get their bikes fixed without significant waiting times. Bike repair shops should receive payment within 15 working days, subject to anti-fraud checks.”