Bike sheds could soon become as familiar a sight as smoking shelters outside Scotland’s pubs thanks to a shot in the arm of funding to cycle-friendly employers.
Licensees can now apply for up to £25,000 as part of £1 million of grant funding from Cycling Scotland to improve cycling facilities on their premises as part of a wider initiative to get people on their bikes and to get healthy.
The Cycle Friendly Development Fund, delivered by Cycling Scotland with funding from Transport Scotland, can be used for projects which encourage staff and visitors to travel by bike, including installing or enhancing cycle parking, increasing capacity and/or security, upgrading minor workplace specific pedestrian/ cyclist access routes, including signage, upgrading onsite facilities – like changing areas, showers, lockers and drying areas – buying bikes to support a bike pool or hire fleet and creating maintenance areas, including buying cycling tools.
Employers can use the funding to help them meet the criteria for a Cycle Friendly Award, a Cycling Scotland scheme which supports employers committed to enabling higher levels of cycling. The awards recognise employers in Scotland who currently encourage cycling in the workplace and offers guidance to organisations who need help getting started.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said, “We want the people of Scotland to look on Active Travel and cycling to work as the preferred option for getting about because it’s easy, healthy and great for our environment.
“I would urge people in companies and organisations to consider this fund and how it can help them introduce changes which will make taking the bike even easier.”
Katharine Brough, Head of Behaviour Change at Cycling Scotland said, “Together with our partners, we work closely with employers from all sectors, offering bespoke support to help them increase cycle rates and realise the benefits. In 2017/18, the Cycle Friendly Employer Development Fund awarded 33 employers a total of £357,185, benefiting workplaces at 53 locations across Scotland.”
“We encourage all businesses to consider applying but particularly those located close to new Community Links or other new cycling infrastructure. More people are likely to choose to commute by bike as infrastructure improves so it’s likely there will be a greater demand for cycling facilities in nearby workplaces.“