A further five businesses along the Bradford – Leeds Cycle Superhighway have applied to the CityConnect Bike Friendly Business Scheme to enable them to encourage more staff to cycle to work.
Through the Bike Friendly Business Scheme CityConnect provides tailored support to individual businesses in the form of expert advice, training or grants to improve cycling facilities such as showers, secure bike parking or access to pool bikes. The CityConnect team have years of experience in delivering behaviour change initiatives, that can engage staff in making that shift towards choosing their bike as a preferred mode of travel.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority continues to strive towards making the Leeds City Region an inviting place for business and investment by creating high quality and ground-breaking transport links to encourage people to commute sustainably in and around our towns and cities. This includes making cycling and walking a fundamental part of everyday travel.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority Managing Director Ben Still said:
“The links between active travel and productivity at work have been documented for many years now and research is showing that those who cycle or walk to work are healthier, less likely to be stressed, are happier and show higher levels of productivity at work.”
“The Cycle Superhighway is proving to be an invaluable piece of infrastructure for commuters traveling between Leeds and Bradford. If more businesses along the route can get behind the much needed behaviour shift towards active travel, our road networks will become less congested at peak times, air quality will improve and we can help to get more people into employment through a healthy mode of travel.”
“The Bike Friendly Business Scheme is the perfect initiative to enable companies to give staff the resources they need to be both mentally and physically healthy; which can only bring further benefits to the employer and business as a whole. “
There has been an overwhelming response from businesses wanting to take a proactive role in offering their staff the means to travel sustainably. CityConnect have engaged with 35 organisations so far through the scheme and seven of those organisations have already been awarded a Bike Friendly Business accreditation. Those companies are Bradford Trident (Silver award), Leeds Beckett University (Silver award), University of Leeds (Silver award), British Gas (Bronze award), Shipley Wellness Centre (Bronze award), Thorpe Park (Bronze award) and Steer Davies Gleave (Bronze award).
Steer Davies Gleave (SDG) is the latest company to be accredited. They submitted an excellent application which means they have already been accredited to Bronze level.Good-quality and plentiful bike parking, a bike hire scheme available to staff, a cycle to work scheme, dedicated time for management to promote cycling and a range of staff cycling activities such as recreational rides and cycle to work days were just some of the strengths recorded in their application.
“We are delighted to be recognised by CityConnect as a Bike Friendly Business. The application process has stimulated discussion amongst colleagues about how to be even more bike friendly and help more of us to cycle to work. We look forward to working with CityConnect to explore some of the recommendations to help us move up to the next level of accreditation.”
SDG is working towards achieving the next level of accreditation; with advice and improvement strategies from CityConnect they now have the guidance they need to become a Silver accredited Bike Friendly Business.
Providing a dedicated active travel page on their website to inform staff or visitors how to arrive by bike and start a Bike User Group (BUG) to tap into existing staff expertise and enthusiasm to create a more focused cycling culture are among the company’s proposed low-cost measures are .
Other engagement initiatives and incentives suggested are to provide cycle training to give staff the confidence and skills they need to cycle to work safely, organise in house bike maintenance sessions or a staff prize draw for anyone who cycles to work.
The CityConnect Bike Friendly Business scheme will be showcased next month at the Cycle City Active City Conference in Bradford on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 May, where delegates can find out more about the scheme.