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Employers asked to do more to encourage staff to cycle to work

The Government is encouraging employers to provide more facilities for staff wishing to cycle to work.

The Department of Transport has asked employers to sign the Cycle to Work Guarantee. The plan covers five areas: providing safe, accessible bike parking facilities at the workplace; providing changing facilities for staff; implementing a tax-efficient cycle to work scheme; ensuring there are bike repair facilities near work sites; and offering training and reward programmes for employees who ride bicycles to work.

The Cycle to Work Guarantee is being promoted by Government and employers to offer employees a healthy and green option to get to and from work. Typically, a third or more of staff working for large urban employers live within half an hour bike ride of their place of work, but only about 3% currently cycle to work.

Most central government departments have signed up as well as major companies including BSkyB, E.ON and GlaxoSmithKline.  Dozens of local authorities and hospitals have also agreed to commit to the Guarantee, which is aimed at large employers. Other large employers will now be invited to follow suit.

Transport secretary Andrew Adonis said: "If proper facilities were more widely available, I believe far more people would cycle to work. At present only 3% do so. We could double or treble that figure with proper bike storage and changing facilities and safe cycle routes - and that's my aim.

"For employees, cycling is a great way to save money while getting fit.  And for all of us, it will cut rush hour congestion and reduce carbon emissions.

"We've seen that this approach can work. The number of GlaxoSmithKline employees cycling to work has tripled since it introduced the right facilities at its headquarters. I see no reason why the Cycle to Work Guarantee can't spread this success widely."