Office facilities – must try harder

Property cycles: BCO publishes cycling research

Office facilities – must try harder

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UK businesses need to offer better facilities for cyclists in the light of government's ambitious cycling growth targets. That's the view of the British Council for Offices following publication of new research carried out by Remit Consulting that has found that whilst 83% of workplaces in the UK offer some sort of bike storage, less than half (47%) of this is covered and secure.

Improved parking facilities could help increase numbers of those cycling to work, with 16% of office workers surveyed saying that better bike storage would encourage them to do so.Other highlights of the research include the finding that many workplaces are failing to provide other, basic facilities for cyclists, with under half of offices not having showers, and over a third of those surveyed (38%) saying that they would consider commuting to work by bike if their workplace had better or more facilities. One in 10 workplaces offer no cycling provision at all. Shame on them...

Neil Webster, Director, Remit Consulting, said: "As cycling continues to rise in popularity, ostensibly the most pressing issue for businesses will be finding the space for bikes, lockers and storage. However, our research shows that the focus needs to be on the quality of the facilities offered, not just the quantity. Alongside safe storage and showers, there is a clear demand for towels, hairdryers and complimentary toiletries. This kind of service provision may not just encourage existing employees to cycle to work, it could also act as a market differentiator for prospective employees, and even have a positive impact on lettability.

"The survey follows the Department for Transport's stated aim in April to double the number of cycling stages - defined as a change in the form of trasport as part of a longer trip - from 0.8 billion in 2013 to 1.6 billion in 2025."

BCO chief executive Richard Kauntze said the research showed that cycling provision is increasingly being accepted as an integral component of Grade A office specification."In the same way that reception spaces in a number of office buildings are beginning to resemble concierge desks, showering and changing facilities are taking inspiration from high-end gyms," he said. "To encourage more employees to cycle to work, this level of attention to detail will be as important as the providing the basics."