SUPPORTING EMPLOYERS TO FACILITATE ACTIVE TRAVEL AS WE HEAD INTO THE 'NEW NORMAL'
I’m sure you’ve noticed the increase in active travel since the lockdown began. Even before the government’s recent announcement to invest £2 billion into cycling and walking, many people were starting, or restarting, to cycle to work. As the lockdown eases, and public transport remains to be an unattractive option for many, it is expected that the high numbers of people cycling to work will continue. Employers across the country are already starting to work out how to manage this increase in employees cycling to work.
For this reason, we have put together a list of active travel offers that are available to employers on the Island, so that you can be best placed to facilitate your employees to continue travelling to work both actively and sustainably:
Innovation Grant Funding Programme: Isle of Wight Council is launching the Active Travel Innovation Grant Fund to support organisations which seek to deliver their own active travel projects. Organisations are invited to bid for a maximum of £3,000, via match funding, for projects which facilitate active travel for commuting, business travel, and for shorter journeys or projects that improve the health and well-being of the wider community. More details here.
Workplace Travel Plan: We can work with you to advise how to create a Workplace Travel Plan to ensure you are best placed to respond to the recent growth in active travel and homeworking. A Workplace Travel Plan consists of an action plan with a list of goals and strategies that help you to overcome the infrastructural or operational issues that may be preventing your employees from travelling sustainably for commuting and for business travel. We are also keen to work with you to capture insight for your employees around travelling to work, such as to provide information on temporary highway infrastructure proposals which may arise to help sustain the increase in active travel created during the lockdown.
Cycle to Work scheme: The Cycle to Work scheme is a UK Government tax exemption initiative which allows employees to purchase a bicycle and cycling accessories through their employer. The scheme is run via salary sacrifice enabling employees to spread the cost over 12 months and make savings of 25-34% on the initial cost of the bicycle and equipment.
Dr Bike: We bring the bike workshop to you! We can arrange for a qualified mechanic to carry out bicycle safety-checks and service key components for staff at your workplace.
Personalised Travel Planning: It can often be scary cycling to work for the first time and planning your route can be difficult. The best route isn’t usually the same route that you can drive. Through Personalised Travel Planning, we can help you to support your employees by helping them to discover their optimum route to cycle to work.
Possible continuation of £50 Cycle Repair and Essential Accessories Vouchers: Included in the government’s announcement was the commitment to a nationwide £50 voucher scheme similar to that offered within the Connect2Work Key Worker Cycle Scheme. We are hoping this will mean we can open our scheme beyond key workers to allow all your employees to apply for a voucher if they wish to start, or restart, cycling to work.
PedalAid: Isle of Wight Council has launched the PedalAid app to encourage cycle commuters on the Red Squirrel Trail. The app enables commuters to have fun whilst improving their health, helping local charities and winning prizes. Regular distance challenges are set and every user’s journey along the cycle route contributes to the overall target, via GPS tracking. A chosen local Island charity receives a donation based on the distance achieved. There are also individual and team leaderboards, with several monthly prizes, so users can compete against colleagues and other departments/workplaces.
If you are interested in any of the above offers, or you have any other questions, please contact Isle of Wight Council Active Travel Officer, Brock Rogers, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.