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Cycling and walking for work

Travel planning for employers
cycling and walking 2 final

The health benefits of walking or cycling to work are proven. Public Health England guidance shows that 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times a week cuts the risk of developing serious illnesses by up to half. Your business and staff will benefit from establishing a culture where walking and cycling into work becomes part of an everyday routine. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we saw huge numbers of people take to their bikes or walk while roads were quieter. Your business can support this during commuting hours by promoting walking, cycling or even running to work.

Walking to work

The option of walking to work may be cheaper than other transport but some crucial barriers remain. Assessing certain factors in your workplace can help to make walking more attractive to staff:

  • Well-lit routes - is the lighting around your building and nearby streets adequate? Report problems to the landowner if staff don't feel safe due to dark sections of their walking routes.
  • Route planning - building in walking as part of a longer journey for example from a public transport hub to your premises will be more attractive with a direct route. You could provide staff and visitors with route maps, bespoke to your organisation. You could also work with your local district to identify options for local infrastructure improvements e.g. safer crossings on busy junctions and new traffic-free bridges over local rivers or roads.
  • Help staff get startedGM Walking has lots of support including help to find local walking groups and walking routes across Greater Manchester. There’s also support to find walking buddies and events that your business could promote to get staff involved.

Cycling to work

Like walking, there are a few relatively low-cost interventions that an employer can make to support staff to cycle.

  • Secure and sheltered cycle parking can make a big difference to employees' choice to cycle to work, as it reduces the risk of bicycle theft. Providing a lockable bicycle shelter in an off-street, convenient location will make cycling easier for staff. You could also consider high-profile, secure, bicycle parking outside your premises to attract customers.
  • Providing additional facilities such as showers, changing rooms and lockers can also encourage longer journeys by bike.
  • In leased or shared business centres speak to your landowner about improvements which your business needs including better cycling routes to access your site. Larger businesses with their own premises may invest in dedicated cycling routes within their grounds.
  • Cycling training can be provided to help staff gain confidence. TfGM has cycle training courses available, or you can host a Dr Bike maintenance course at your workplace.
  • Promoting cycling to work can include regular cycling events, taking part in external 'cycle to work' competitions with other businesses and getting involved with events like Bike Week.
  • As an employer, you are entitled to lend your employees bicycles and related equipment tax-free. Providing cycle parking is also tax-exempt. The UK’s Cycle to Work scheme offers a way to cut the cost of cycles to employees. Typical savings are between 30 and 50 per cent.
  • You should also consider setting up a bicycle users' group (BUG). A BUG enables employees to swap knowledge about things like the safest routes to work.
  • Share TfGM’s cycling maps covering all ten boroughs of our districts; and TfGM cycle hubs at convenient public transport interchanges across the city region.
  • Competitions such as Love To Ride can encourage new cycling journeys. Bike riders log their mileage online, which contributes to a business leader board and gives riders the chance to win prizes.
  • TfGM’s website has information to get you started here.

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Travel planning for employers: at a glance

Additional links

TfGM cycle training
Find out more about cycle training.

Bike week
Discover how you can get involved with Bike week.

Cycle to work scheme
More information about Cycle to work schemes.

More information from Sustrans.

Love 2 Ride
Visit Love 2 Ride's website for more information.

A Guide To Workplace Cycling
A step by step guide on comprehensive steps to take as an employer.