Why encourage employees to cycle?
Encouraging employees to cycle to work has many direct benefits for companies and staff including:
- A healthier workforce, cycling to work provides a good aerobic exercise for the employee which reduces the risk of many diseases including heart problems and outdoor exercise will boost the immune system resulting in less sick days being taken by cyclists.
- Cycling reduces stress. A cyclist will turn up to work less stressed and ready to take on the day compared to driving where traffic jams and other problems will cause stress on the journey to work. Also important is the journey home where a cyclist will arrive at home less stressed than when they left work.
- Cyclists turn up on time. Since cyclists rarely get stuck in traffic jams and many routes to the Harwell campus are off road journey times are very predictable. With the campus and local towns expanding pressure on the local road system will increase, car and bus journeys will get slower and less predictable.
How to be a cycle friendly employer
There are many ways to become a cycle friendly employer at very little cost compared to the benefits the company and employees will gain. Facilities that HarBUG would like to be provided for cyclists on the campus are:
- Secure covered cycle parking using the Sheffield style stands. The cycle park should be as close if not closer to the workplace than the car park. The cycle park should have lighting for dark winter mornings and evenings or be in a position where local lights e.g. street lights shine into the cycle park. Paths and entrances to the cycle park should be well lit, easily accessed, wide and signed if needed.
- Provide showers, changing areas, lockers and a drying room/cupboard. Because of the distance to the Harwell campus from local towns, most cyclists will want to shower and change when they arrive at work. The provision of these facilities are a real deciding factor in getting people to try cycling. Lockers give cyclists somewhere to hang their cycling clothes up during the day and saves having offices, workplaces and changing areas clogged with clothes. A drying room is important for those days when cyclists get caught in the rain, so that clothes are dried for the journey home. The drying room only has to be small or a large cupboard but should have some heating available.
- Start a ‘cycle to work’ scheme to allow employees to buy a new cycle and equipment tax free via a salary sacrifice scheme. This is a Government scheme that allows employees to buy a new bike and equipment and rent it from the company via a HP agreement with the option to buy at the end of the HP period. The savings on the price of the bike vary but are typically 30 to 40% by reclaiming the VAT and the salary sacrifice is tax exempt. Third party facilitators like cyclescheme.co.uk (which represents many local independent cycle shops) deal with the paperwork, reducing the administration needed by companies. Please see the links below for details and our cycle to work guide pages for more information. Opens window to Cyclescheme employers information page
- Make a regular donation to HarBUG – Harwell Bicycle Users Group. HarBUG are a group of cyclists that campaign for safer cycle routes to the campus from the local area and routes on the campus road network. HarBUG promotes cycling as a real alternative transport option of getting to and from the Harwell campus. HarBUG also campaigns for better facilities on the campus for cyclists. Please contact our treasurer to make a donation.
Please contact HarBUG if you require any further information concerning any aspect of cycling to work.