Sustrans strike Yorkshire Gold!

Sustainable transport charity Sustrans’ Leeds office has become CityConnect’s first gold-standard Bike Friendly Business.

Sustrans was recognised in particular for its work encouraging both staff and members of the public to travel by bike. This includes hosting community cycling events, offering staff the use of pool bikes, and giving employees a wide range of information, such as route advice and bike maintenance tips, all designed to make travelling by bike as easy as possible.

As a result of these initiatives, a massive 80% of Sustrans’ Leeds-based employees travel to work by bike.

Launched in June 2016, CityConnect’s Bike Friendly Business was set up to recognise the efforts of organisations who go that extra mile to encourage people to cycle to work. Through the Bike Friendly Business scheme, the CityConnect team provides support and advice to those who aspire to be more bike friendly. Organisations that participate are also eligible to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to help them do this.

Sustrans’ Leeds office applied in September and was awarded gold standard accreditation under the scheme, which assesses both hard measures, such as bike parking, and the softer things organisations can do to encourage cycling.

Cllr Keith Wakefield, chair of Transport Committee for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said:

“I would like to congratulate Sustrans Leeds for becoming the first local organisation to achieve gold standard under the Bike Friendly Business for the sterling work they have done to encourage cycling among their employees and visitors.

“Through the CityConnect team, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its district partners are delivering transformational and ground-breaking cycling infrastructure but importantly, they are supported by engagement initiatives such as the Bike Friendly Business scheme designed to increase participation.

“This an excellent way for businesses to tap in to a team committed to seeing more people enjoying active travel, for free-of-charge advice about all the benefits of becoming a cycling and walking organisation, as well as accessing funding to achieve their ambitions.”

Lee Thompson, Partnerships Manager for Sustrans in Yorkshire, said:

“We’re delighted to be awarded the Gold Standard. Our charity is all about trying to encourage more people to cycle and walk, so it’s very much part of our staff ethos. In partnership with CityConnect, we’re currently running free training to help more people cycle to work, with additional incentives to help jobseekers and apprentices get in to cycling. There are lots of great cycle paths around West Yorkshire and our team can help advise people on their routes to work.”

The Bike Friendly Business scheme is currently open to organisations across West Yorkshire. For more information, please visit: www.cyclecityconnect.co.uk/get-active/working-with-business/. To register your interest, please contact cityconnect@westyorks-ca.gov.uk