Stoke-on-Trent City Council is offering grants of up to £5,000 to help local businesses encourage their employees to leave the car at home and instead get to work through walking, cycling or using public transport.
The council is inviting bids under its sustainable travel plan, which envisages businesses working in partnership with council officers to draw up a travel plan and highlight alternatives means to the car for staff and visitors to get there.
Among initiatives that the council says can be supported by the grants are the provision of shower and changing facilities, installation of cycle storage and purchase of pool bikes, as well as improvements to lighting and pedestrian crossings.
Councillor Adrian Knapper, Stoke-one-Trent City Council cabinet member for transport and planning, commented: “These grants will hopefully provide small and medium sized businesses with the opportunity to create a sustainable transport plan tailored to them.
“The onus though, is on them to come up with something that will provide their employees with alternatives to just driving into work on their own, by creating facilities and opportunities they might not be able to afford normally,” he added.
Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for economic development, said: “We’re keen for businesses to come forward straight away and start applying. It’ll mean that they can get things moving straight away and we can start helping them as soon as possible”
He continued: “By alleviating the financial burden that can come with doing this independently, we hope businesses will be able to focus their finances in creating new jobs, and also encouraging others to come here and make Stoke-on-Trent a great working city.”
Further information plus an application form can be obtained by telephoning 01782 234964.
Stoke-on-Trent was formerly one of Cycling England's cycling demonstration towns and earlier this year the city council told road.cc it remained committed to promoting cycling despite the abolition of that body by the Coalition Government.
Wider efforts to promote cycling include the city has hosted a round in all three editions of the Halfords Tour Series, while a stage of the Tour of Britain, as well as a Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride, have started and finished there each year since 2009.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.