Sustrans has created an Active Travel workplace toolkit designed to encourage commuters to get on their bikes.
The bilingual guide will be launched alongside the Welsh Assembly Government’s new walking and cycling strategy at the Millennium Centre, Cardiff on Monday (February 23rd) at 9am.
In a statement from Sustrans, the firm said that by encouraging biking to work, employers will potentially save a huge amount of cash that is lost through absenteeism. The firm said that only 36 per cent of man and 22 per cent of women get the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of exercise five days a week. In 2007 the British economy lost £20 billion, or 172 million working days, due to sickness absence. Sustrans said that increased physical activity can help reduce absenteeism and increase productivity in the workplace.
“It has been fantastic to draw on Sustrans’ expertise on how to encourage people to get to work in an active way,” said head of visitor services at the Wales Millennium Centre Leonie Wallace.
“Many of our new cyclists would never have considered using a bike to get to work before so it’s great that they are giving it a go and seeing the benefits.
“People have had various motivations – whether it’s fitness, the cost of driving or simply not wanting to get stuck in rush hour traffic.”
Minister for Transport Mr Wyn Jones said: “More walking and biking in Wales is a win-win situation on all fronts. It will ease congestion, lower emissions and address growing obesity levels. If levels of activity increase we will have a healthier nation. Surveys show that 57 per cent of adults in Wales are either overweight or obese. We can transform this through making changes to our daily lives.”
Minister for the Environment and Sustainability Jane Davidson said: “The truth is too many of us still opt to take the car when we could walk or cycle. The car is still king in Wales, with the majority of journeys being less than five miles long. This plan aims to change that. We want to enhance and link up cycle routes on an all-Wales basis and support communities to make a difference. Importantly, we want to change people’s behaviour and attitudes.
“More walking and cycling will mean a healthier Wales, but also be good for the environment. Making more trips by bike or on foot will mean fewer cars on the road, lower carbon emissions and will contribute to our fight against climate change.”