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Bank is also encouraging staff to get involved in academic study to identify barriers to and benefits of cycling

HSBC UK, which has sponsored British Cycling since 2017, is to cut 90 per cent of staff car parking spaces at two new regional centres in a bid to get employees cycling.

The Sunday Times reports that nine in ten of the 700 car parking spaces at offices in Sheffield and Birmingham will disappear.

Instead, the bank, which employs 34,000 people in the UK, is spending £3 million this year on initiatives such as bike parking and changing rooms at the sites.

The newspaper says that HSBC UK is also looking for 1,280 volunteers among its staff to sign up for the Cycle Nation Project, an academic study being run by Glasgow University and Edinburgh University.

The project aims to identify barriers to cycling and will also assess issues such as activities undertaken by employees, their motivation, cardiovascular health and absenteeism.

Ian Stuart, HSBC UK’s chief executive, said that at the Birmingham headquarters, “Nobody gets a car parking space unless they have a disability.

He added: “It won’t suit everyone and I understand that. I am not a fanatical cyclist. I don’t own Lycra.”

One employee at HSBC UK’s Sheffield offices told The Sunday Times that until his car parking space was taken away, he would drive less than two miles to go to the gym.

James Royal told the newspaper that he and his partner have now rethought plans to buy a second car and that he instead cycles the four miles to the office – something that has resulted in his journey time halving to 20 minutes.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.