Cycle-friendly employers and cycle commuting (Cycling UK views)

Cherry Allan's picture
Cycle commuters arriving at work
Cycle commuters arriving at work
Headline Messages: 
  • Encouraging employees to commute by cycle and to cycle on business, can result in a healthier, more productive workforce and lower transport costs.
  • Workplaces that encourage cycling help mitigate their negative impact on the local and wider environment.
  • If employees are encouraged to cycle rather than drive, congestion is less severe at peak times, which is good for business and the economy.
Key facts: 
  • The 2011 Census reported that 741,000 working residents in England and Wales aged 16 to 74 cycled to work - 90,000 more than in 2001. Over those ten years, however, the proportion of working residents who commuted by bike struggled to rise above 2.8%.
  • The number of people living in London who cycled to work more than doubled in ten years from 77,000 in 2001 to 155,000 in 2011. In Cambridge, 29% of working residents cycle to work - more than anywhere else - but for 29 other local authorities, this figure is 1%.
  • On average, employees who cycle-commute take at least one day p.a. less off sick than colleagues who do not cycle to work, while car commuters are at least 13% more likely to feel constantly under strain or unable to concentrate than those who cycle/walk to work.
  • It costs the giant pharmaceutical company GSK in West London about £2,000 a year to maintain one car parking space. The same space could accommodate eight bikes.
  • 92% of GSK’s cycle commuting staff say that their health is improved as a direct result of the support they receive from the company to cycle to work. 74% say that they are more productive and 73% believe they are more motivated.
Cycling UK View (formal statement of Cycling UK's policy): 
  • Employers should recognise the health, environmental and economic benefits of promoting the use of cycles for commuting and work purposes.
  • Actions that employers should take include:
    • making cycling an integral part of a Travel Plan
    • paying the full, tax-free cycle mileage rate
    • subscribing to other tax incentives (e.g. the Cycle to Work scheme)
    • incentivising cycling through workplace challenges, events etc.
    • providing good quality facilities (e.g. cycle parking, showers and lockers
    • supporting a bicycle users group (BUG)
    • supplying ‘pool’ bikes
  • Employers should not be discouraged from promoting cycling because of liability fears, neither should they make cycle training or wearing a cycle helmet a prerequisite for cycling on business.

See also Cycling UK's guide to becoming a cycle-friendly employer.

Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
January 2016

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  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
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