Employers’ Helping Hand for cycle-to-work staff
Employers in South Gloucestershire are giving staff some practical encouragement to cycle to work, in a bid to promote more sustainable forms of commuting.
More than 20 companies along the A4714 ring road – representing over 40,000 staff -- have signed up to an innovative scheme which will see emergency cycle repair kits deposited at dozens of workplaces.
The kits include essential cycle maintenance tools as well as spare equipment such as lights, locks and high-vis jackets, and aim to help staff or visitors tackle minor issues that might otherwise be a big problem for cycle commuters.
Employers using the kits include Airbus, HP, Mitie, Friends Life and the Bristol & Bath Science Park, as well as the University of the West of England and NHS Blood & Transplant.
The scheme is being led by North Bristol SusCom, a partnership of major local employers committed to sustainable commuting, with support from South Gloucestershire Council via the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
SusCom Director Ann O’Driscoll said: “We all recognise the importance of sustainable transport, such as cycling, as a way of reducing congestion and promoting healthy lifestyles.
“Cycling to work is a great way to get fit and save money and this scheme aims to make it as easy as possible for staff to do this.
“Flat tyres or forgotten locks can be a big nuisance for cyclists and this scheme aims to encourage people to bike to work in the knowledge that help is at hand should it be needed.”
She added: “I hope the project will encourage even more people to join the thousands who already cycle to work in South Gloucestershire.”
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment Committee Cllr Brian Allinson said: “Many people live within three or five miles of their workplace, making cycling an ideal means of getting to work. And with recent investment in cycle routes in South Gloucestershire, there has never been a better time for people to get on their bike – especially with the added reassurance that any minor maintenance problems can be resolved when they get there, thanks to this excellent emergency kit scheme.”
The National Composite Centre at the Bristol & Bath Science Park is one of many local employers to have recently taken delivery of a kit. Chief Executive Peter Chivers said: “The NCC is fully committed to providing our employees with sustainable and healthy travel to work alternatives.
“As a keen cyclist myself I had the misfortune of two punctures on my way to work by bike this summer. I can understand the impact and challenge that making a repair can make and the additional time which can impact on the working day.
“The NCC is therefore really pleased to participate in the scheme because it gives a win all round, benefitting the environment, the employee and the business.”
For further information about the work of SusCom, visit www.northbristolsuscom.org
National Composite Centre Chief Executive Peter Chivers (left) takes delivery of an Emergency Cycle Repair Kit from HP manager and North Bristol Sus Com chairman David Callaghan