Relatively few UK commuters cycle, yet everyone wins when they do. Here’s how to encourage your non-cycling staff to get on a bike.
Cycling to work is good for everyone. Cycle commuters enjoy better health and save money. Employers get happier, more productive staff. And there’s less air pollution and traffic congestion for us all. Despite this, it’s hard to convince people who haven’t been on a bike since childhood. You need to address the reasons your non-cycling staff don’t cycle.
Road safety concerns
This is the big one. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of adults asked agree with the statement: ‘It is too dangerous for me to cycle on the roads.’ While the perception of danger is worse than the reality, traffic-free routes are key for converting non-cyclists. You could:
- Buy and give out free copies of Sustrans’ red-topped regional maps.
- Put a desktop shortcut to Cyclestreets on all workplace computers.
- Arrange short rides – in work time – on traffic-free local routes for small groups of employees. You may need hire bikes or pool bikes (see below).
Don’t own a (working) bike
Many non-cyclists don’t own a bike, or if they do it’s unrideable due to disrepair. A functional bike is a critical first step. You could:
- Pay a local Cyclescheme retailer to run a ‘Dr Bike’ session at your workplace so your staff’s out-of-action bikes can be diagnosed and/or fixed for free.
- Invest in a few workplace pool bikes that staff can borrow for free. Folding bikes are a good choice as most are one-size-fits-all, and they can more easily be used for just the traffic-free stage of a journey.
Believe cycling is harder and slower than driving
Non-cyclists won’t realise how much easier it is to cycle on a quality lightweight bike that fits them properly – never mind an e-bike! They might not know that cyclists are faster than drivers in urban areas. You could:
- Arrange for a local Cyclescheme retailer to bring a few e-bikes for staff to try out in the car park.
- Set up a hybrid on an indoor trainer so that staff can see how long it takes to travel a given distance by bike. All that’s needed is a bike, an indoor trainer, and a cycle computer with a rear-wheel sensor. Alternatively, you could invest in Zwift so that staff can try riding a virtual urban course.
Haven’t considered cycling
Many non-cyclists won’t have even thought about cycling. So start that conversation. You could:
- Run a presentation on cycle commuting in work time. Include video footage on cycling’s benefits (type ‘benefits of cycle commuting’ into YouTube and pick your favourites). See if any of your existing Cyclescheme participants are happy to talk about their experiences.