Birmingham and Solihull businesses pick up cycling award

Nearly a dozen businesses, schools and colleges across Birmingham and Solihull have been formally recognised as being among the most bicycle friendly locations in the region.

Top Cycle Location status has been awarded to 11 employers and education establishments in recognition of their dedication in making it easier for staff or students to travel on two wheels.

The award scheme, a partnership between transport authority Centro, bike experts BikeRight!, cycling and sustainable transport charity Sustrans and Birmingham City Council's Bike North Birmingham project, featured an event held at the Library of Birmingham earlier this week.

Among the winners were household names like Jaguar Land Rover, Npower and Solihull's Touchwood shopping centre.

The awards were made after each winner took part in either Centro's Smart Network, Smarter Choices or Birmingham City Council's Bike North Birmingham project.

Conrad Jones, Centro's head of sustainability, said: "These awards recognise those organisations who have gone the extra mile to make it easy for their employees or students to travel by bike.

"We already know that congestion is costing this region billions of pounds each year in wasted fuel and time, so cycling can help support the economy as well as improving people's health and fitness."

Yvonne Gilligan, regional director of sustainable transport charity Sustrans, added: "We are impressed at the commitment of key employers who are engaged in the Bike North Birmingham workplace programme and encourage their staff to cycle to work.

"As we heard from one of our successful workplaces - Goodyear Dunlop - 'supporting cycling makes good business sense and a healthy workforce is a happy productive one".

"Sustrans is now looking forward to supporting more employers on the journey to becoming a 'Top Cycle Location' and congratulations to all the winners."

Businesses were awarded gold, silver or bronze status based on how cycle friendly their premises are.

Three employers based in Solihull were given the highest accolade available including Npower, who installed cycle parking and changing facilities.

The venues in Birmingham and Solihull to receive an award were:

  • Npower
  • Solihull Sixth Form College
  • Touchwood shopping centre
  • Aero Engine Controls
  • Lydon School
  • Environment Agency, Solihull
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Goodyear Dunlop
  • West Midlands Police, Sutton Coldfield
  • Fort Dunlop
  • John Taylor Hospice

Centro's government funded Smart Network, Smarter Choices scheme aims to cut carbon, boost the economy and connect residents to jobs.

As part of the project employers have had bespoke travel plans drawn up to help their staff use greener transport.

They have also been given support in installing facilities like bicycle storage or showers to make it easier for those wanting to travel by pedal power.

The Bike North Birmingham project works with communities, workplaces and schools to help get people into cycling

Liz Clarke, MD at BikeRight! comments: "BikeRight! is thrilled to be working in partnership with leading employers across the West Midlands and to be instrumental in developing cycling through our advocacy, events and training courses."

"Well done to these Top Cycling Locations for demonstrating that cycling can have a positive and real benefit to businesses and staff alike."