MAJOR BUSINESSES across Milton Keynes are in talks to form a formal alliance to encourage cycling to work.
Red Bull Racing, Network Rail, The Open University and PwC are among those discussing the move after an event announcing the results of a city-wide survey of the travel behaviour and attitudes of students.
Speaking after the launch of this year’s MK Schools Travel Survey report, Malcolm Davies of Tilbrook-based Trek Bicycles, and MK Cycle Forum member Clive Faine, managing director of property developer Abbeygate Developments, talked about the need to follow up the report and plan the next steps towards building a sustainable alliance of business and voluntary organisations to help the council to increase cycling.
The breakfast event, hosted by Milton Keynes Community Foundation and attended by Mayor Cllr Amanda Marlow, also celebrated the achievements of participants in the 2022-23 Business Cycling Challenge, which championed commuter cycling as measured by number of bicycles on site.
This year’s winners were high access platform manufacturer Niftylift, based at Shenley Wood, and Volkswagen Financial Services at Tongwell. Denzel Onyango and Daniel Molnar, from Niftylift, are pictured below receiving the company’s award from Mayor Cllr Amanda Marlow.
The survey report recommends action from schools and the city council to promote cycling to school in order to achieve personal health and wellbeing and net-zero carbon goals.
It questioned 2,500 secondary school students and found that 12% of Year 7 students cycle to school while 50% are driven. Of those living within a 15-minute cycle ride, nearly 40% are driven. The report concluded that 1,000 Year 7 pupils who travel to and from school by car could easily cycle.
“Imagine the difference we could make if we could get 1,000 more Year 7 students cycling to school rather than being driven,” said Cllr Zoe Nolan, cabinet member for children and families. “Promoting cycling from the earliest age is so important. Talking to parents about how their children can cycle safely to school is vital. I am certain we can increase the 12% who are currently cycling.”
Cllr Emily Darlington, cabinet member for adults, housing and healthy communities, spoke of the health benefits: “If we could get more people cycling for leisure, exercise and transport, we could transform the mental health of people in this city,” she said.