The UK nuclear cleanup body Sellafield Ltd has announced the success of its adoption of the government’s Cycle to Work scheme.
The scheme aims to promote cycling as a travel option for UK commuters, with the dual goals of reducing traffic pollution and promoting healthy lifestyles among the UK public. Businesses are offered tax exemptions on the purchase of bicycles and safety equipment to be loaned to employees; with the separate option for the employee to purchase their cycle at the end of the loan period. Nearly 3,000 Sellafield Ltd employees have taken up cycling under the Cycle to Work scheme since 2014, spending a total of just under £2.3m (€2.59m) at local cycling retailers.
Sellafield Ltd employee Tracey West, who was able to purchase an electric cycle through the Cycle to Work scheme, said: “The scheme allowed me to buy a powerbike from a local supplier and I now cycle to work every day. It’s a great way of getting fitter, reducing vehicles on the road and a lot better for the environment.”
The company has formed an active cycling group for its employees, as well as providing ‘Bikeability’ cycle training courses in partnership with a local bicycle dealership. The courses aim to equip employees with the skills and knowledge necessary to become a safe cyclist.
Viv Winter, a member of Sellafield’s cycling group, said: “Many employees choose to cycle to work. As well as being one of the healthiest and most environmentally friendly modes of transport, cycling is a great way to reduce congestion. Employees have found this hugely beneficial and have really enjoyed it.”
A UK cycling survey released last week found low uptake of the Cycle to Work scheme, with respondents citing safety concerns, high levels of road traffic and the distance between their homes and workplaces as predominant factors.