Personal injury specialists Cycle SOS’s call for bosses to grand their cycling employees flexitime so they can have a quieter, and potentially safer, commute to work has led to an interesting debate in the comments section (there’s a first time for everything, I know).
Here’s a selection of some of your thoughts:
Kil0ran: “When I was commuting (New Forest to central Southampton) I made use of flexitime, to the point I don't think I would have cycled if I had to do 9 to 5.
“After the death of a colleague I paid particular attention to avoiding low sun (my commute was west to east in the morning) which actually meant at some times of the year it was safer to cycle to/from work in the dark. In the peak of summer I'd cycle in very early, leave at 4 (the earliest we could finish), and get an extended ride done on the way home.
“The other big benefit of flexi was making efficient use of what were excellent but still limited shower facilities. I think there were about 50 regular cyclists and nine showers. Staggered start times meant I rarely waited more than a few minutes for a cubicle.
“Most of these changes were mandated by the council as part of planning permission for the new office (built 2007/8) and so were quite ahead of the times in some regards. It undoubtedly encouraged cycling to the point when I left I think they were considering extending the bike park and putting in repair stations.”
EddyBerckx: “Riding outside of those 'flexi-time' hours would mean getting in ridiculously early or pretty late (and leaving early /late). I'm lucky that my last couple of companies have been good with flexi-time but not quite to that extent… and I wouldn't want to work those hours.
“Going into London from the burbs, there is a big difference between peak rush hour and quieter rush hour however – miss the 8-9am rush in central London and you're onto a winner.
“These days I often ride in lunchtimes to get the exercise more than anything due to the WFH thing most people do during the week. Much less traffic for me at least on my route.”
Awavey: “When I commute, I’m on the road post 9am and usually after 6pm back, specifically past the rush hour peaks and school runs, and whilst the roads are maybe a bit quieter, I actually am at more risk of close passes/bad driving because the vehicles aren’t stuck in congestion anymore, plus you hit a different driver mentality.
“In the morning they’re all switched off non-commuters and delivery vans, the evening all rushing home because they’re late or doing after work/school activities.
“My work colleagues who ride a similar route to mine ,but at peak rush hour, actually say it’s much easier for them because traffic is always queuing or more likely stationary, so there’s less risk of close passes or pushing through pinch points. Yes, you have to watch out more for drivers not paying attention in queuing traffic, but on the whole they say it’s better.”
Rendel Harris: “It may have some merit for some circumstances but can only be a sticking plaster over the primary issue of inadequate infrastructure and dangerous drivers.
“Additionally, many of the roads I use in central London for commuting are actually safer at rush-hour because they are so crowded and traffic speed is reduced; Finborough Road and Redcliffe Gardens in Chelsea, going north and south respectively, are prime cases in point. They are both double lane one-way roads: during rush hour the traffic is often jammed or moving at a crawl and it's quite easy and safe to make good progress by filtering.
“Out of rush-hour the long, straight nature of the roads means there's a lot of speeding and close passing. Of course if they removed the on-street parking there would be plenty of space for a two-way cycle lane, but given RKBC's well-known antipathy to anything to do with cycling one can't see that happening any time soon.
“If employers gave cyclists Flexitime, wouldn't they also be obliged to offer it to motorists? If motorists then started using it to take advantage of quieter times on the roads as well then the status quo would surely be swiftly restored.”
Brooksby: “On the 'flexitime' story, can't they see that all they are really doing is saying ‘Get the cyclists out of the way during the rush hour because you're annoying the Real Commuters’?”
JustTryingToGetFromAtoB: “Flexitime would make cyclists commutes easier but it's not just about cycling, it would make everyone's lives easier.
“Vote with your feet. If your employer is an arse about your hours and your presence go somewhere that is less draconian. I work with a lot of clients and invariably see that the employers that treat colleagues like adults get more shit done. Those that are controlling are a nightmare to work with and have unhappy staff.”
And finally, brooksby spoke for all of us by reacting very maturely to this afternoon’s story on Norfolk’s “advisory” 20mph limits…
Have a good evening, everyone!