Cycling at West Yorkshire’s “Bike Friendly Businesses” up by 25%

“Bike Friendly Businesses” across the region have seen a 25% increase in cycling, thanks to a pioneering scheme being run as part of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to travel by bike or on foot.

Through CityConnect’s Bike Friendly Business scheme, which has been running since August 2016, employers can access expert advice and grants of up to £5,000 to encourage more staff to commute by bike with bronze, silver and gold accreditation for organisations going the extra mile.

More than 180 organisations across the region have taken part so far, with more than 50 receiving accreditation. Grant funding has been used to install high quality bike parking, as well as provide pool bikes and cycle training.

Duke Studios, a co-working and community space in Leeds City Centre, is a bronze Bike Friendly Business, they received advice and support from the CityConnect team on how it could be more cycle friendly. They also received a £4,500 grant, and co-workers at Duke Studios have benefitted from improved bike parking, maintenance equipment, and three new pool bikes which enable residents to move around the city in a sustainable way.

Amy Balderston, Duke Studios Community Manager, said:

“About 100 people use our co-working spaces and they all travel to and from Duke Studios in different ways, but what our residents have in common is their awareness of the world around them and the impact their behaviour has on the environment.

“Our company motto is people first, business second. We wanted to become a Bike Friendly Business first and foremost because of the benefits it would bring to our residents and also because of the benefits to the business.

“Having the pool bikes means any of our residents can borrow one for a week and have a go at cycling before they commit to buying their own.

“It’s also enabling more of us to change the way we travel across the city - whereas people would have previously taken an Uber now they take one of the pool bikes instead.”

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said:

“Through the CityConnect team, we’re working in partnership to deliver award-winning cycling infrastructure, which importantly, is supported by a range of engagement initiatives, including support for businesses.

“The Bike Friendly Business scheme is a great opportunity for business to access expert advice from a team committed to seeing more people travelling by bike and it’s clear the scheme is having an impact with participating organisations seeing an average increase of 25% in the number of people travelling by bike.”

For more information about the scheme visit www.cyclecityconnect.co.uk/get-active/working-with-business/