CTC, the UK's national cyclists' organisation, is calling on NHS employers to pay more to employees who use their bike instead of a car for non-commuting business mileage.
According to data collected by Spokes, the NHS Cycling Network, 78% of NHS trusts and Authorities in England pay either the bare minimum of 6.2p per mile or less. CTC is calling on the NHS and other employers to pay cyclists the Treasury's approved and tax free rate of 20p per mile.
"With NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) now urging employers to encourage cycling, the NHS could set a fantastic example for other employers by encouraging their own staff to travel by bike," said the CTC's campaigns and policy manager Roger Geffen in a statement. "So far they are lagging behind. The Department of Education has all schools working towards Green Travel Plans by 2010. It's time for the Department of Health to practice what they preach and do likewise."
CTC says that by encouraging cycling, employers will gain financial benefits as well as reduced sickness absence among their employees. It could also reduce cark park congestion, which is a particular problem within the NHS.