Employers

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Cycle-friendly employers and cycle commuting (CTC views)

Doing everything possible to encourage employees to commute by cycle and to cycle for work purposes helps improve the health and productivity of a workforce, lowers the cost of business transport and eases congestion at peak time.
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: 
  • In 2011, 741,000 working residents in England and Wales aged 16 to 74 cycled to work - 90,000 more than in 2001, but the proportion of working residents who cycle commute has struggled to rise above 2.8% in that time.
  • The number of people living in London who cycled to work more than doubled in 10 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 8 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.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC'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 CTC's guide to becoming a cycle-friendly employer.

Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
February 2015
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Cycling to Work Resource (2003)

In 2003, the Department for Transport funded the production of an informative, online resource on cycling to work. It was based on the findings of CTC's Benchmarking programme, which identified a number of local authority initiatives that were setting the 'benchmark' in this field.
Cycle commuter

The Cycling to Work resource, which is now available (largely unrevised) as a document, includes:

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Bicycle User Groups (BUGs)

If you want to encourage more people to commute by cycle to your workplace, or use cycles for business travel, setting up a Bicycle User Group is a step in the right direction. This guide tells you how to go about it, and what the BUG can do once it gets going.
CTC - working for cycling

Workplace BUGs support staff who cycle at and/or to and from work. They are usually championed by a keen cyclist plus (ideally) a core of fellow employees. Some BUGs have much in common with local cycle campaign groups and many not only look after the interests of existing cyclists, but work hard to encourage other employees to take up cycling too.

For CTC's formal policy on cycle commuting and cycle-friendly employers, see our campaigns briefing. This briefing includes facts and figures, along with a range of background information.

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Becoming a cycle-friendly employer

Becoming a cycle-friendly employer makes sense. Encouraging cycling helps tackle the business costs of congestion, reduces an organisation's impact on the local and wider environment and even attracts some tax incentives. What's more, it's likely that levels of absenteeism will drop.
Commuter

Many UK towns and cities have a traffic problem - too many cars, poor air quality, congested streets and limited car-parking spaces. This is particularly bad during rush hours, with mass migration of people to and from their workplaces.

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Tax incentives

Cycle commuting is a convenient way for people to fit exercise into the daily routine, and work-related travel by cycle helps ease congestion and is good for the economy and the environment. To help, the Government has introduced a range of cycle-friendly tax incentives for employers and employees.
A cycle commuter on his way to work

Cycle mileage

Employees who use their own cycle for work (i.e. not to and from work) are entitled to 20p per mile, tax-free.

If an employer pays less than this, or no cycle mileage rate at all (which is not a good thing, of course!), an employee can still claim tax relief by contacting HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) directly.

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