Sheffield companies can get ahead of Bradley Wiggins this year, by taking to their bikes before the Tour de France peloton sweeps through northern Sheffield in 2014.
“Cycling employees are more productive, take fewer days off work and arrive in the morning sharp, not stressed-out,” said Richard McGurn from Sheffield CycleBoost.
The free Sheffield CycleBoost scheme is run by local cycling companies on behalf of Sheffield Council, thanks to grants from the Department for Transport, and is available to companies in the north of the city, the Don Valley and city centre. Sheffield CycleBoost aims to help more people make journeys by bike, more safely, more often.
“We started this scheme three years ago, and since then nearly 1,000 people have borrowed a bike, and after taking part, 70% continue to cycle at least once a week to work,” said city council transport planner Paul Sullivan.
Under Sheffield CycleBoost local companies are offered free high quality loan bikes to try out cycling for thee to four weeks, with all the support needed. Companies and the wider community can also take part in free Dr Bike sessions, and cycling courses covering commuter safety skills, maintenance, cycling confidence skills and even absolute beginners ‘learn to ride’ sessions. The scheme will also offer cycling-related discount
schemes to participants.
“Cycling has doubled in Sheffield over the last ten years, and the Sheffield Cycleboost scheme is helping to extend the growth of cycling in northern Sheffield,” said Paul Sullivan.
“The increase in cycling has meant improved air quality and less congestion for Sheffield, and we’re seeing a growing bike economy, with more shops and facilities opening.”
Operated by Recycle Bikes and Pedal Ready from Sheffield, and Get Cycling from York, the free Sheffield CycleBoost cycle loan scheme starts this month, with maintenance and cycling courses already in operation.
“If companies have anything from 10 to 40 staff interested in having a go at cycling before Le Tour hits town, we’d like to hear from them,” said Richard McGurn.
With support, local companies can achieve high cycling levels, said Paul Sullivan: Sheffield University has 9% of staff cycling to work, and the city’s hospitals have 4-5%.
“After taking part in Sheffield CycleBoost, we hope more Sheffielders will see that cycling in Sheffield is safe, quick and practical,” said Richard McGurn. “It’s also more fun than sitting in a traffic jam.”