Business in the Community (BITC), in partnership with Transport for London (TfL), British Cycling, the Cycle to Work Alliance and the Department for Transport launched businesscycle a new national initiative at the Houses of Parliament on 25 October to encourage greater use of bikes as an efficient and healthy form of transport for commuting and local business trips.
Through this new initiative BITC and the businesscycle partnership are helping to create a lasting cycling legacy, capitalising on the success of the London Olympic Games. Research by Sky and British Cycle found 52% of people are motivated to cycle as a result of the achievements of Team GB’s cyclists.
Over 100 organisations packed the room to hear Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman speak passionately about his love of cycling, his desire to see more people cycling in the UK and the importance of creating the right environment for cycling. The launch was hosted by Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and other key speakers and supporters included Norman Baker MP, Minister for Transport, BITC’s Chief Executive Stephen Howard and Sustainability Director Alan Knight and Halfords’ Chairman Dennis Millard. NHBC’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, John Attley and B&Q’s Gin Tidridge, One Planet Home Range Manager and Ben Earl, Environmental Affairs Manager represented the business world and highlighted both the practical and also innovative steps they are taking to be best practice cycling employers.
businesscycle provides helpful information on all areas of cycling, including evidencing the health, social, environmental and financial benefits; promoting cycle safety through numerous means such as easy to use cycle safety messaging; providing information on how to access cycle training; implementing secure cycle parking and highlighting the importance of good locking practice and bike registration which are often cited as barriers to cycling. Organisations that sign up will have access to fantastic offers for themselves and their employees, such as discounts on cycle parking, British Cycling membership and cycle security kits.
BITC’s Chief Executive Stephen Howard said ‘Through its ways2work programme, BITC has long been working with businesses to influence sustainable commuting and business travel. We are now delighted to be a businesscycle partner and part of what we believe will be a resurgence of cycling as an efficient, healthy and equitable form of transport benefiting people, businesses and communities across the UK’. Heather McInroy, BITC’s Programme Director for ways2work and businesscycle who has been working closely with TfL and the other partners to develop the website and network said ‘It is great to be working with such supportive partners and inspiring businesses - NHBC and B&Q are showing what organisations can do to engage their employees and help change their travel behaviours’. She added that she was delighted so many other influential and pro-cycling UK businesses attended the launch including RWE npower, BskyB, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft, PwC, Ernst and Young, Eurostar, Heathrow, Gatwick and Birmingham Airports and Hutchison Ports amongst others saying ‘they are fantastic examples of businesses already benefitting from their investment in cycling and now keen to share their learning with businesscycle members’. Heather would be delighted to hear from any Mayday Network members who would like to share their experiences, challenges and successes in terms of encouraging cycling for work – or indeed answer any questions you may have about the initiative.
BITC is hosting businesscycle on behalf of the partnership and would like to thank TfL for funding the website development. Ben Plowden, TfL Director of Planning, Surface Transport said: “The success of the London 2012 Games has spurred on a huge growth in cycling across the country. At TfL we want to nurture that growth and encourage more people to take to two wheels as a means of transport for both leisure and work. businesscycle is a great way of encouraging businesses to promote cycling to their employees in a positive way, giving both employers and employees access to a wealth of information regarding good cycle practice.”
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