With a week remaining of the Milton Keynes Cycle Challenge, organisers are hoping it will be the biggest Workplace Cycle Challenge yet.
The Milton Keynes challenge has been organised by Challenge for Change in partnership with the CTC. It follows other schemes in cities throughout the UK that organisers say have resulted in people cycling to work more regularly.
The Cycle Challenge is a free competition to encourage people to use their bikes more. Organisations in Milton Keynes are competing to see who can get the most staff to cycle for just 10 minutes or more between Monday 21 June and Sunday 11 July.
Participants log their cycling online, with spot prizes for individuals and team prizes for the teams that get the most staff cycling.
Milton Keynes is running the Challenge as one of the six Cycling England Finding New Solutions, Bike to Work locations selected by the Department of Health South East and CTC Challenge for Change.
Even before the launch, 60 organisations and over 650 people had registered on the Challenge Website with a friendly competition between the largest employers in the area including Milton Keynes Council, NHS Milton Keynes and the Open University. The scheme has been well received by all types and sizes of local employers ranging from solicitors to architects and engineers to schools.
Ceri Griffin, Cycling & Walking Development Officer for Milton Keynes Council, said: “The Cycle MK Challenge is the first step to creating a new cycling legacy within businesses in Milton Keynes. Businesses will be encouraged to create new travel plans, improve facilities and give us the opportunity to improve the surrounding locations. We have a number of mini-challenges taking place such as Thames Valley Police and the Bucks Fire Service, a challenge between the schools, a challenge between the NHS & Milton Keynes Council and a challenge between everyone and Trek bicycles. We even have a number of local car manufacturing giants involved including Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Red Bull Technology, which is great!”
CTC Challenge For Change co-ordinator Ian Richardson said: “The Milton Keynes Cycle Challenge is a great opportunity for businesses to provide an incentive for staff to try cycling to work and hopefully see the results from the many indirect benefits such as reduced congestion and a healthier workforce.”
Visit the Milton Keynes Cycle Challenge site to find out more or to register.