2 May 2017 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Many organisations within the capital do not provide adequate facilities for employees who cycle to work, shows a survey commissioned by London-based private equity real estate company Evans Randall Investors.
Over a period of three months researchers from ESCP Business School, who carried out the study for the firm, visited 61 commercial offices in the City of London and the West End to study cycling facilities, interview building managers and canvass the opinions of regular cyclists in person and online.
The study shows that building managers - especially those working in buildings with an overall surface above 50,000 square feet - were responding to the growing trend for commuter cycling in the capital, especially those in Mayfair and the City of London.
Among the findings in the report are:
- Most cycle storage facilities (60 per cent) are full or almost full on a regular basis, leaving many workers fighting for space.
- Ninety-four per cent of the buildings surveyed allow runners and other workers to use lockers and showers, indicating a need for more lockers than the number of bike storage spaces. Satisfaction is highest in the building with one locker for every 30 employees.
- On average, there is one shower to every 240 employees.
- Only 20 per cent of facilities have drying rooms for used or wet cycle gear. This is the number-one concern for cyclists, with surveyed riders admitting to using office furniture or handlebars as makeshift drying and storage racks.
- Just a third of facilities offer bike repair services, but those who do report strong take-up and high levels of user satisfaction.
The study recommends: allocation of more secure, dedicated bike storage areas; more lockers for used cycling clothes and general use; showers with a bench and changing space with continuous hot water, mirrors and hairdryers; a dedicated drying room for wet clothing; and a mini self-service bike repair station.
In 2016, the Mayor of London's Human Streets report estimated that within five years the rapid growth in cycling would result in more people using bikes as a form of commuter transport than those driving in central London.
Last month, a British Medical Journal study showed that workers who cycled to work had better overall health.