Employers urged to do more to get staff to cycle to work

The Department for Transport has set up a new voluntary scheme as part of its efforts to ensure employers provide the right facilities for staff to cycle for work.

By signing up to the Cycle-to-Work Guarantee scheme, public and private sector employers are committing to provide their staff with safe bike storage, changing facilities and access to the government’s tax break scheme – cycle-to-work – for new bikes and cycling equipment.

Employers who sign up to the scheme commit to provide the following:

• Secure, safe, and accessible bike parking facilities for all staff who want them

• Good quality changing and locker facilities for all staff who want them

• Offsetting the cost of cycling equipment for staff and saving on tax through the ‘Cycle-to-Work scheme’

• Bike repair for cyclists on or near site

• Training, reward and incentive programmes to achieve targets for more cycling

The Cycle-to-Work Guarantee scheme is being promoted by the government and employers together to offer employees a healthy and green option to get to and from work. Typically, a third or more of staff of large urban employers live within half an hour bike ride of their place of work, but only about 3% currently cycle to work.

Most central government departments have signed up as well as major companies including BSkyB, EON and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Several local authorities and hospitals have also agreed to commit to the Guarantee, which is aimed at large employers.

Transport secretary Andrew Adonis said: “If proper facilities were more widely available, I believe far more people would cycle to work. At present only 3 per cent do so. We could double or treble that figure with proper bike storage and changing facilities and safe cycle routes – and that’s my aim.”

“For employees, cycling is a great way to save money while getting fit. And for all of us, it will cut rush hour congestion and reduce carbon emissions.

“We’ve seen that this approach can work. The number of GlaxoSmithKline employees cycling to work has tripled since they introduced the right facilities at their headquarters. I see no reason why the Cycle to Work Guarantee can’t spread this success widely.”

For more article on voluntary benefits