Report claims inadequate workplace facilities threaten cycle to work potential

A new report by the British Council for Offices has outlined that cycle to work rates will stagnate unless employers improve in-house facilities to cater for active travel needs.

16% of office workers told researchers Remit Consulting that inadequate facilities was a key reason why they would not consider cycling to work. Comfort at the desk is considered crucial to cyclists, with 45% stating that no showers are available onsite, with 24% of the pool stating that they would be more likely to cycle if a space to freshen up were available.

Further to comfort complaints, security concerns further enhanced the reluctance to cycle to work. The study found just 47% of workplaces to have covered and secure storage for bicycles. 16% outlined that better storage conditions would increase their tendency to cycle.

Interestingly the study also looks at links to the office, stating that 29% of respondents would be more likely to cycle to work if the routes from door to door were deemed safe to cycle on.

With conditions slowly improving in cities, it’s the study is unsurprising in revealing that 35% of its respondents have taken to cycling to work within the past two years and a further 31% between two and five years ago.

Neil Webster, Director at Remit Consulting, said: “As cycling continues to rise in popularity, ostensibly the most pressing issue for businesses will be finding the space for bikes, lockers and storage. However, our research shows that the focus needs to be on the quality of the facilities offered, not just the quantity.

“Alongside safe storage and showers, there is a clear demand for towels, hairdryers and complimentary toiletries. This kind of service provision may not just encourage existing employees to cycle to work, it could also act as a market differentiator for prospective employees, and even have a positive impact on lettability.”

Reasons given for cycling to work by those surveyed centre primarily on health at 71%, however 51% cite cost of transport as a primary factor for their choice to cycle.

At present, the study suggests that one in ten workplaces offer no cycling provision at all.