HYNDBURN Council workers could have the option of using local-authority owned bikes for official council business as an alternative to cars.

Cabinet members will be asked to approve proposals to create a workplace cycle pool of two bikes and two electric bikes funded by a £2,745 grant from Lancashire County Council.

The aim of the cycle pool is to encourage employees to use cycles for business use as an alternative to using their vehicles and also potentially to exercise at lunchtimes to improve health and wellbeing.

Council bosses say the benefits of this scheme would be that some journeys can be made more quickly with no need to locate parking, there are health benefits from the physical activity of cycling including reducing the risk of strokes, diabetes and stress which ultimately improves the health of the workforce and leads to fewer absences.

And they hope there would also be financial savings due to a reduction in car mileage expenses.

In a report to go before cabinet next week, HR manager Joanne Wolfendale said: “Cycling is more environmentally friendly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to improvements in air quality and reducing congestion. It also leads by example to our residents and businesses showing that the Council is committed to reducing harmful emissions and making greener travel choices.

“At present, there is no secure cycle storage at Scaitcliffe House. The current cycle storage located at the markets will be removed due to being identified as a potential terrorist threat.

“Rather than purchasing new storage, these cycle shelters can be relocated. There will be minimal cost to removing and securing the shelters on site at Scaitcliffe House.

“There will be an additional cost to fitting an external power point for the electric cycles and connecting this to the existing AVC unit (estimated at £300).”

A survey was sent to staff who regularly use a vehicle for work purposes to gather views on the use of cycles for work activities.

Of the 10 staff who responded. six believe that some or a few work related trips could be made by cycle.

All believed that the cycle pool is a good idea with six stating they would be willing to use a work cycle.

Factors that would discourage staff are poor weather conditions, fitness levels and the need to carry work equipment.