THE SEARCH is on for the most cycle-friendly businesses in Warwickshire ahead of one of the world’s biggest cycling events.
Warwickshire will host a leg of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in September which will be showcased across the globe and feature some of the world’s top cyclists.
The OVO Energy Women’s Tour, which came through the county last month, attracted a record number of spectators, and over 100,000 people are expected to line the streets in September.
Organisers hope the event will leave a legacy of an increase in cycling in the area, and the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber is highlighting companies who encourage staff to pedal to work.
Only four per cent of commuting trips in the UK are taken by bike despite the health benefits.
And a study of 264,000 people found cycling to work was linked to a 45 per cent lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to commuting by car or public transport.
Chamber director Louise Wall said: “There is no dispute around the benefits in terms of health and also reducing congestion. For example, people who regularly cycle to work take more than one day per year less off sick than colleagues who do not cycle to work.
“While we know that with busy lives and packed schedules, cycling to work is simply not possible for everyone but there are steps which make it easier for people to cycle into work.”
Measures include bike parking, lockers and shower facilities and a ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme allowing employers to loan bikes and equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit.
Ms wall added the chamber was particularly keen to hear from smaller firms who did their bit in the run up to the tour.
During the 183km Warwickshire leg on September 5, racers will take in Warwick University, Kenilworth and Warwick Castles before heading into Stratford and Rugby, and finishing in Leamington.
Competitors will also take on three mountain climbs – an ascent of more than 1,700m.
Companies which encourage employees to cycle to work should email [email protected].