AS lockdown is slowly lifted and more start going back to work the Government is encouraging commuters to exercise their ‘civic duty’ not to use public transport and, if within a reasonable commuting distance, leave their car at home and get to work on foot or by bike.

Locally, and disappointingly, Worcestershire County Council, as our Highway and Public Health Authority, has just made it clear that (despite statutory Government guidance) they won’t be proactively supportive.

There is however lots that existing cyclists and employers can individually and collectively do to be supportive of the Government.

Encouraging Your Colleagues to Cycle to Work

One of the best ways to encourage cycling is to lead by example. Cycle to work, but ideally leave the ‘Lycra’ at home. For those new to cycling the thought they may have to buy and wear ‘spandex’ is a real turn off. It makes cycling look more like a sport rather than a great way to get to work and adds to the impression that cycling is hard work.It isn’t. It’s no more strenuous than walking.

The main difference is you get there five times quicker. Anyone of reasonable fitness can easily manage to cycle five miles in 30 minutes. If not, electric bikes are now widely available or you can drive part way. For most journeys around the city cycling is actually quicker door to door than driving.

Cycling is nowhere near as dangerous as many perceive, but fear of traffic is the main reason people don’t give cycling a try.

It’s therefore really helpful to point out the quieter backstreets, cycle paths and canal towpaths that can be used to avoid the busy main roads.

To help work out a quieter route from home to work Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, has a really useful journey planner on their website.

The county council also has walking and cycling maps for all of the main towns that you can download from its website. Once a route is identified (and now we’re allowed to meet up with one person from another household etc etc) why not either arrange to cycle to work with them or check out the route after work.