Want to read more?
At the start of the pandemic in March we took the decision to make online access to our news free of charge by taking down our paywall. At a time where accurate information about Covid-19 was vital to our community, this was the right decision – even though it meant a drop in our income. In order to help safeguard the future of our journalism, the time has now come to reinstate our paywall, However, rest assured that access to all Covid related news will still remain free. To access all other news will require a subscription, as it did pre-pandemic The good news is that for the whole of December we will be running a special discounted offer to get 3 months access for the price of one month. Thanks you for supporting us during this incredibly challenging time
We value our content and our journalists, so to get full access to all your local news updated 7-days-a-week – PLUS an e-edition of the Arran Banner – subscribe today for as little as 48 pence per week.
Organisations on Arran are being invited to join more than 200 workplaces, schools, community groups and campuses committed to making Scotland cycling friendly by signing up for a nationally recognised award.
In all 244 organisations across Scotland have registered for the Cycling Friendly award, a scheme run by Cycling Scotland, the nation’s cycling organisation.
The award recognises and celebrates schools, employers, community projects, colleges and universities that have gone the extra mile to make it easier and more accessible for people to cycle.
In the 2020-21 financial year, Cycling Scotland had anticipated supporting 150 organisations to register and attain the award this year, but halfway through the year and despite all the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, 244 organisations have committed to working towards the accreditation, with 40 having already achieved the award.
From Highlands to the Borders, the Orkney Islands to Dumfries and Galloway, 100 employers, more than 70 schools and more than 60 community groups are actively working towards achieving the accreditation.
Organisations that have registered have committed to working towards tailored action plans to meet criteria, which includes:
- Installing cycle parking, showers and changing facilities
- Providing pool bikes or membership to a bike hire scheme
- Providing bicycle mileage allowance for business journeys
- Offering cycle training
- Monitoring cycle rates
- Providing resources to support people to cycle
The Scottish Association for Marine Science, based in Oban, is one such employer, having achieved the award in July 2020.
Dr Emily Venables, support scientist said: ‘The Scottish Association for Marine Science is committed to sustainability and caring for our environment. The support that we have received has transformed our changing facilities, encouraged people towards the cycle to work scheme and helped create a much more positive attitude towards cycling to work.
‘Cycling Scotland has been great to work with, and we are really pleased to have been awarded our Cycling Friendly Employer status this year.’
Kath Brough, head of behaviour change, said: ‘Despite all the challenges of 2020, it’s been so encouraging to see that people across the country are dedicated to making cycling easier and more accessible. From schools to workplaces, colleges to community groups, organisations are working hard to support their staff, students and local communities choose a healthy and sustainable way to travel.
‘As we enter the winter months, supporting our physical health and mental wellbeing is vital, and cycling is a great way to ensure this, as well as relieving pressure on our transport system. If any organisation is interested in becoming cycling friendly, I’d encourage you to view the criteria on our website and register for the award.’
In order to support organisations attain the award, Cycling Scotland provides development grant funding from Transport Scotland.
Cycling Scotland has been reporting on the rise in cycle rates during Covid-19, which saw an increase of 43 per cent from March to August 2020 compared to the same time last year of people getting on their bikes.