Attending conferences usually involves lots of sitting around waiting for the interesting parts, and mentally judging the event by the types of biscuits available during coffee breaks.
The first Cycle to Work conference held in Bristol in January was different in that there wasn’t a dull patch throughout the day – and the biscuits were pretty good as well!
The conference brought together employers, cycle practitioners and local government representatives from around the UK. The idea was to provide a snapshot of where we are currently at regarding the promotion of cycling as an integral part of the journey to work each day.
Presentations included speakers from Rolls Royce, which is working towards the Bristol version of the Cycle Friendly Employers award at its plant in the south-west, Sustrans and the CTC (Cyclists’ Touring Club).
Peter Davenport from cycle parking company Cycle-Works spoke about his time in Seattle and efforts to promote cycling there. Amongst the innovations discussed were the integration of cycles with public transport through racks carrying bicycles on the fronts of buses (perfect for getting out of sudden downpours on long trips home), extensive use of bicycles by the metropolitan police and promoting cycling through charity and leisure rides.
The conference is likely to be repeated next year and Cambridge has been suggested as a possible venue.
On a mixed happy and sad note, Sarah Goretzki – the Cycle Friendly Employers Co-ordinator – has had a little girl, Lilly, and has decided not to come back to work as a result. We wish Sarah all the best and we will be filling the vacancy later this year.
David Meiklejohn, Travel for Work Advisor