Whilst cycling is on the rise in the UK, a recent survey has found that half of British adults believe that Britain’s roads are too dangerous for them to cycle on. Despite such fear, the importance of cycling should not be overlooked, with cyclists across the UK helping to reduce pollution, ease congestion and deal with the rising obesity epidemic in their own small way. Those who cycle to work may even be helping to improve Britain’s economy by arriving at work less stressed and more awake and in turn being more productive throughout the day.
As such, with cycling being so important and with many people wanting to get on the roads but fearing to do so, a huge amount needs to be done to encourage more people to take to two wheels.
Cycling is more popular than ever, its appeal bolstered by an increased awareness of its benefits as well as a succession of sporting wins. With a section of this year’s Tour de France taking in Yorkshire, the appeal truly is spreading nationwide. However, some people are still too worried to head out on their bikes on a regular basis.
The main fears cited by cyclists were narrow cycle lanes and poorly maintained roads. However, the department for transport has recently doubled funding for cyclists, increasing its allotment to a massive £374 million, and a significant proportion of this money will be going towards improving cycling infrastructure and delivering safer cycle routes.
Whilst older Brits were more worried about the roads than younger individuals, 45% of 18 to 24 years olds polled said they too believed local roads were too dangerous for cycling. What is surprising is that an even higher percentage believed that employers didn’t do enough to encourage or facilitate cycling to work, with 55% saying they felt employers could do a great deal more.
There are many benefits for employers to promote cycling amongst staff. Not only are those cycling to work likely to be healthier and in turn far less likely to take time off, but individuals who cycle are also more likely to turn up on time, feeling refreshed and energised, and in turn productivity is likely to rise as more employees switch to cycling.
Recent studies have also shown just how damaging sedentary lifestyles are and in turn by promoting cycling to staff members, employees may also help individuals to live longer and develop fewer chronic health conditions.
By investing in the right facilities and support for those looking to cycle to work, companies are likely to make their money back many times over, whilst helping to boost the economy, reduce traffic on the roads and improve the local environment. Simple additions such as cycle shelters, lockers and showers may not only improve a business’s own productivity but may also boost morale in general and ensure that individuals feel comfortable turning up at work hot and sweaty.
Whilst the government needs to deliver better conditions for cyclists, should employers offer the right facilities and get on their bikes themselves, workers may be encouraged to give it a go too, and may find that they are far more confident on two wheels than they thought. In turn, Britain could thrive in terms of both productivity and health.
Author Bio: Alan Holmes is a freelance writer and blogger. He regularly writes articles about company processes and the importance of exercise for business, using sites such as CAD Shelters to keep up with all the latest industry news and developments.