Can the bike trade be made more bike friendly?

Sustrans is offering free initial consultations to enable businesses throughout the UK to determine the viability of providing links into the National Cycle Network for staff and customers. The businesses Sustrans has in mind are generally those with hundreds of employees but there would be nothing stopping IBDs and smaller cycle supply companies from plugging in to the Sustrans business programme
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This is a roll-out of a programme Sustrans has been running with major corporate clients - such as The Boots Company plc - for some time.

Other businesses have been in the manufacturing sector, offices, retail shops and supermarkets, local authorities, universities and hospitals.

Where the National Cycle Network (NCN) is located near to business premises, clearly defined signed links into those premises have proven remarkably successful in encouraging many more people to walk and cycle. Schemes have been particularly successful where secure cycle parking and other facilities were also provided.

Sustrans has found that where links and facilities have been provided, walkers and cyclists take advantage of the many benefits that include health and environmental improvements, and which are often also cheaper and quicker than using a car in urban areas.

Iain Macbeth, site development manager for The Boots Company plc in Nottingham, said: "NCN Route 6 runs some 100 metres from our main west gate to the site, which is a great incentive to the 500 who cycle to work each day."

John Elliott, transport manager of Pfizer Ltd in Sandwich, Kent said: "The only group of workers enjoying their journey to work are the cyclists. We recently opened 180 new secure cycle spaces to meet the demand."

Sustrans is offering an initial free consultation, that will provide a map with the business site shown in relation to the NCN, to any business that sends a

postcode address to Gaspar Sanvicens, Sustrans' Working the Net Project Director at its Bristol Head Office (35 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4DZ). If a business then decides to take the matter further, Sustrans offers further investigation and report on a commission basis.

Using its map-based spatial database (Geographical Information System), postcode data and GIS analysis tools, Sustrans can produce a clear picture of staff travel patterns, plotted against an Ordnance Survey map. From this information the potential benefits to

company and staff alike can be ascertained.

Sanvicens said: "Two thirds of our daily journeys use a car for less than five miles, half of them under two miles. There is clearly a lot of scope for cutting traffic and the pollution that goes with it, whilst encouraging a healthier active travelling alternative at the same time."

The Working the Net information sheet (FF34) is available free of charge from Sustrans' Information Department (0117 929 0888) or click here for a PDF http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/.../SustransWork.pdf

And here's a Sustrans PDF on how employers can encourage more cycling to work

http://www.bikebiz.co.uk/.../SustransBikeToWork.pdf

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