A third of employees would cycle to work more often if there were extra incentives for them to do so, according to new research by the UK’s innovation foundation.
Nesta is an independent charity funded by the National Lottery which “helps people and organisations bring great ideas to life”.
To encourage more work cyclists and work-based cycling schemes, Nesta is running the Workplace Cycling Challenge. The challenge is open to all employers with 10 or more employees and encourages them to submit innovative ideas for getting more of their workforce commuting by bike.
According to Nesta’s research, 49% of employees said they usually drive alone, while just 4% routinely cycle.
For those employees who do cycle to work the top five reasons for doing so are: to keep fit (58%), save money (49%), health benefits (46%), environmental benefits (27%) and to improve mood (22%).
Among those who do not cycle to work the top reasons are: distance too far (43%), don’t own a bike (41%), safety concerns (24%) and weather (19%).
Of those employees who already cycle the factors most likely to get them cycling more are: incentives or rewards (48%), safe storage (40%), access to bike maintenance (31%), and shower facilities (29%). A further 14% said they would welcome training sessions (eg. road safety).
Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of Nesta, says: “Through our Workplace Cycling Challenge we hope to remove some of the barriers to cycling and get more people on their bikes.
“Our research shows that many people would be keen to give cycling a go if only the right incentives were put in place and this presents organisations with a huge opportunity to reap all the benefits associated with an active, cycling workforce.”
The Workplace Cycling Challenge closes on 12 November 2012. The winner will receive a prize of £25,000.