CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed a cross-city rallying call for more Worcester employers to help transform the city by encouraging their staff to commute by bicycle.
Bike Worcester have joined forces with Worcester City Council, Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chambers of Commerce and Worcester BID who all support an increase in active travel in Worcester.
With more than half of Worcester residents having a commute of less than three miles to work, calls have been made to triple cycling commuting in the city in 2021.
Bike Worcester was set up to identify actions to make it easier and safer for more people to cycle around the city and help encourage more people to choose active travel for local transport.
Dan Brothwell of Bike Worcester said: “Employers can support active travel in a number of ways, such as thinking about where bikes and a change of clothes can be stored.
“Bikes and other equipment can be purchased through the Cycle to Work scheme, where the business makes the purchase, and this is repaid by the employee via salary sacrifice, saving personal tax contributions.
“Companies are also encouraged to nominate a Cycling Champion to act as a hub for information and encouragement.”
Coun Marc Bayliss, leader of Worcester City Council, said: “More journeys made by bike in the city will reduce congestion, noise and pollution, which benefits everyone.
“This moves us closer to a more sustainable society, with better air quality and reduced CO2 emissions causing climate change.”
Sam McCarthy of Worcester BID said “The use of sustainable transport is a great way for businesses to support their employees to choose a healthier lifestyle and support their mental wellbeing.
Another method to incentivise employees to choose active travel is to sign up for the SHIFT scheme.
Companies pledge a small sum of money for each km travelled by employees by bike, and total company distance is recorded. At the end of the year the money is then donated to a good cause supported by the company
Sharon Smith, CEO Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce said “The SHIFT scheme will not only provide employees with a boost to their health and well-being but will also make a difference in reducing companies carbon emission contributions.
Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The SHIFT scheme will also give back to the local community through donations to fund local good causes.
“I would encourage more businesses across the county to utilise sustainable transport and schemes like SHIFT going forward.”