Exeter businesses urged to apply for cycle-friendly audit

Bronze, silver and gold status on offer, plus goodies

Over 3,000 businesses in Exeter are being invited to compete for an award as a cycle-friendly employer.

Cycle Exeter’s Business is Better by Bike Award scheme is part of a strategy to increase cycle commuting in the city, with applying businesses assessed by the Cycle Exeter scheme, whose job it is to try and raise cycling levels in the city.

Marks will be awarded in several areas: cycle facilities, incentives, promotion and events. The best of the applicants will be awarded gold, silver or bronze status, depending on how they are judged to meet the criteria.

Categories assessed will include actual facilities such as cycle parking, changing arrangements and whether the company organises help with bike purchase. The team will also be looking at a wide range of other features – whether pool bikes are available, if the firm pays a business mileage rate, whether there is a Bicycle User Group, and whether regular staff bike rides are organized amongst many others.

Winners receive award logos which they will be able to display on their website and on company materials. The top scoring company in each of the three categories (gold, silver and bronze) will receive a Cycling Celebration Day at their workplace and free cycling goodies, with a special prize for the overall winner.

Also as part of their cycling strategy, Cycle Exeter organized a programme of both lunchtime and full day bike maintenance workshops.

A national Bicycle Friendly Business programme in America run by the League of American Bicyclists since 2008 has made awards to businesses ranging from those employing just a few people to mighty organisations employing thousands and there are similar award schemes in various cities in both the U.S. and Canada. New York’s scheme was won last year by an advertising and public relations firm which bought 50 bikes for staff to use to travel between meetings and supported this with helmets, parking, showers, lockers and training.

The closing date for entries for the Exeter awards is 28th April. Any business wanting to enter can complete a form on the Cycle Exeter website. Winners will be announced in early May.

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