During lockdown many people have taken advantage of quieter roads to walk or cycle more regularly. As more people begin to return to school, college and work we have a real opportunity to capture the positive changes we have seen to improve the physical and mental health of residents, improve air quality and ease congestion across the West of England.
Support for businesses to encourage walking and cycling
As we return to our places of work, we are asking businesses across the West of England to help lead the way to a greener West of England.
By encouraging and supporting your staff to cycle and walk for short journeys, you and your employees can help improve our air quality, reduce congestion and arrive at work feeling more energised.
There are grants and support available to install cycle racks or showers, help remote workers stay active, build confidence to change habits, plan journeys, or start a cycle to work scheme.
We’ve created a Find Joy in the Journey Business Guide, to provide an overview of support and funding available in the West of England, as well as some inspiring examples of how businesses of all sizes are supporting their staff to walk and cycle more.
We’ve been talking to businesses in the West of England about how they are supporting walking and cycling:
- Find out how Aardman Animations is encouraging active commuting. Watch the video on YouTube;
- Lost Horizon Coffee is a small business growing in a sustainable way. Watch the video on YouTube;
- Royal United Hospitals Bath are reducing stress through supporting walking and cycling. Watch the video on YouTube.
Find joy in the journey – our Active Travel Campaign
Residents across the region are being encouraged to find joy in the journey by swapping a short car journey for walking or cycling whether commuting to work, taking the kids to school or popping to the shops. The new campaign from the West of England Combined Authority promotes the benefits of cycling and walking to boost health and wellbeing as well as helping to build a cleaner, greener future for the West of England. There’s plenty of support to get active on the ‘joyinthejourney’ page on the Travelwest website which you can find via this link https://bit.ly/3g0BkSZ.
Improvements to cycling and walking infrastructure
WECA has been successful in its second bid to government for active travel. The schemes were selected to reflect our aims in our Joint Local Transport Plan 4 and our Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, and to support the Government’s objectives and guidance relating to Emergency Active Travel.
Our local councils will be engaging with businesses and residents on the proposed schemes to make sure they meet the needs of businesses and communities. To find out more about the schemes and plans for engagement visit:
E-cycle Extension Fund bid
In December 2020, WECA and the four West of England authorities submitted a bid to the Department for Transport’s E-cycles Extension Fund. The bid was for £250,000 for a range of interventions including:
- Purchase of e-bikes and funding to facilitate a range of supporting activities such as expanding the existing e-bike loan schemes, bikeability and cycle training, and to provide grants for community organisations who can support access to e-cycles in their community.
- Continuation of the Wheels to Work project
- Bike security, such as on-street cycle hangars
- The purchase adapted e-cycles and funding related to outreach activities to expand the work of the Bristol Family Cycling Centre and other similar schemes across the West of England
If our bid is successful, then the programme will run until autumn 2021.
The you can download a copy of our full bid here: WECA E-cycle Extension Bid 2020/21 (PDF 119kb)
The Department for Transport’s have advised that they will contact successful authorities in February 2021.