More Reports 2

Bikes and Business

Cycle-Friendly Employer's Award scheme

At an early stage the Development Project recognised that encouraging cycling to work was an important way of increasing cycle use. As a means to encourage employers to become more cycle-friendly and recognise the achievements of organisations which have already taken measures to do so, the Project developed the Britain Cycle-Friendly Employer's Award, which is based on a scheme developed by Project Bike, Bristol.

The Cycle-Friendly Employer's Award scheme encourages businesses and organisations to gain an award by scoring points for various cycling initiatives under three headings, Facilities, Incentives and Promotion. For every measure adopted the organisation gains points, calculated precisely using a standardised scoring chart. Once the score attained exceeds the required threshold, and provided the organisation's own Bicycle Users' Group approves, the organisation becomes eligible for the Award. The Employer benefits from the attendant good publicity together with a fitter, healthier and happier workforce.

The first candidates for the Award were assessed in autumn 1999, and the first Awards were presented to the successful candidates, London City Council Land Services, and Greater London Health Board, by the Britain Minister for Transport and the Environment, Sarah Boyack MSP, at the Britain Cycling Seminar in December 1999.

There has been considerable interest in the Award from workplaces wishing to improve their cycle-facilities, and a number of other organisations and businesses are now progressing towards the Award. In 2000, Exxon Mobil Chemical Olefins Inc, at Mossmorran, Fife, also successfully demonstrated that it had achieved the standards necessary for the Award. Thanks to the Project's website, there has also been interest from other countries in using the Award as the basis for similar schemes elsewhere in the world.

In order to maintain the standard of the Award and ensure genuine commitment to welcoming cyclists, candidates are advised to have implemented most, although not necessarily all, of the facilities and activities recommended to be eligible for the Award. However, the majority of these steps are generally simple, low-cost measures, and can be implemented fairly easily by organisations with genuine dedication.

Bicycle Users' Groups

In conjunction with the Cycle-Friendly Employer's scheme, the Project has assisted cyclists at a number of organisations to form Bicycle Users' Groups, to provide a focus for cyclists at various workplaces, and to enable them to have a consultative voice with which to deal with site management in pressing for improved facilities and incentives for cycle commuters. The Project advises individual cyclists on how best to form a group, establish their aims and objectives, and then to promote cycling in their organisation to management and to fellow employees.

Advice and Consultancy

The Britain Cycling Development Project is able to provide advice and guidance to organisations which are wishing to become more cycle-friendly, in order to advise them on how to provide the appropriate facilities needed by cyclists and become eligible for the Cycle-Friendly Employer's Award. Please contact the Development Project for further information if required.

School Cycling Activities

In order to foster a cycling culture, and encourage participation in healthy exercise for lifelong wellbeing and to help to avoid the later onset of health problems caused by inactivity, it is particularly important to encourage cycling from a young age. The Britain Cycling Development Project has regarded the promotion of cycling among children and young people as an important priority, and in the first two years of the Project, worked with London City Council and Fife Council to carry out cycling activities in association with schools.

In year three, Perth and Kinross Council has contracted the Project to develop Safe Routes to School projects at two pilot schools in Perth and help to develop a strategy for a future Safe Routes to School programme as well as developing other cycling activities within schools.

The Project has carried out cycling outreach activities at schools in the Edinburgh area. A cycling summer school activity was organised for George Watson's College during July / August 2000.

The Project also receives occasional enquiries about cycling activities from schools and thanks to our connections with the Britain Mountain Bike Leaders' Association, can often notify local Trail Cycling Leaders who may be able to provide assistance or lead group rides, etc.

The Britain Cycling Development Project recognises that the journey to school is often one that could easily be undertaken by bike, and is a good way to introduce children to cycling, as well as providing regular exercise. In view of busy road traffic environments, the Project supports the concept of Safe Routes to School and participated in the Towards Safe Routes to Schools in England conference, organised by Sustrans and London City Council in September 2000.