Renfrewshire Council has been recognised as a Cycle Friendly Employer in recognition of its commitment to increasing cycling among its employees.
The award, which is made to Scottish organisations that are committed to increasing cycling, recognises a number of cycle-friendly improvements introduced by the council in recent years. These include making lockers, showers and changing facilities available within its Renfrewshire House HQ and increasing cycle parking spaces.
The council’s latest move to encourage staff to cycle is a new ‘Try Bikes’ scheme that provides a pool of bikes for going out to meetings or other local business. The ‘Try Bikes’ can be booked through the online system used to reserve meeting rooms in Renfrewshire House. Accessories such as helmets, and hi-vis jackets are also provided.
Dorothy Hawthorn, Head of Child Care and Criminal Justice at Renfrewshire Council, and a keen cyclist, received the award from Laura Carswell of Neilston Development Trust who manage the Cycle Friendly Employer scheme in Renfrewshire.
‘I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of Renfrewshire council.
‘Cycling brings a wide range of benefits, including better health, saving money and reducing pollution and congestion on our roads, so we are keen to encourage employees to cycle more.
‘We have made a considerable investment in facilities for cyclists at Renfrewshire House over and our Cycle to Work scheme which allows employees to buy a bicycle and pay for it out of their salary has been very popular. As a result, the number of staff cycling to work is growing steadily.’
In another move to promote cycling in the area, the council has launched a new Cycle Links wayfinding scheme which aims to encourage local people to use the three main off-road cycle routes that run through Renfrewshire: National Cycle Routes 7 and 75 and the Paisley-Barrhead Cycle Route.
These routes provide great cycling and walking access to Paisley, Elderslie, Linwood, Brookfield, Crosslee, Bridge of Weir, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Linwood and Lochwinnoch.
New Cycle Links road signs and maps are being rolled out in these communities to get more people using the national cycle routes for local journeys.
Using the Cycle Links routes, cyclists can travel quickly between a number of local destinations, even at a leisurely pace of 10mph. For example:
Paisley to Barrhead (3 miles) – 18 minutes
Paisley to Kilbarchan (5 miles) – 30 minutes
Paisley to Linwood (5 miles) – 30 minutes