Active Travel Grants of up to £1,000 available to organisations that encourage more people to cycle

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South Gloucestershire Council is offering grants of up to £1,000 to organisations with under 250 employees that want to increase the number of people cycling.

Up to 20 businesses, community groups or schools could benefit from the financial support if they encourage staff and volunteers to saddle-up and leave their cars at home.

Active Travel Grants are funded through the Council’s Climate and Nature Emergency Action Plan Budget and offer an opportunity to purchase of specific items, such as electric or fold-up bikes.

It is the second year the grants have been offered across South Gloucestershire with Kingswood-based business, LumOptica, one of those benefitting last year.

The research and product development company was awarded a grant to purchase an electric bike and has now introduced an e-bike company policy and encouraged staff to take cycle proficiency courses.

Natalie Rees, Project Manager at LumOptica, said: “The team has been very excited about the new electric bike, it has brought so many benefits. The e-bike is being used to commute to and from work; it started with one employee and then the rest of the team wanted to do the same. It has also encouraged the team to get out at lunchtime, gaining those endorphins and health benefits from not sitting at their desks all day.”

Ms Rees, who herself has been out on the e-bike having not ridden a bike for years, said the seven staff can notch up more than 30 miles a month on the e-bike. She added: “I don’t think we would have purchased a pool bike if it wasn’t for the Active Travel Grant, as a small business we just wouldn’t have been able to prioritise it in the budget. It’s great, we’ve seen the team bonding over something that isn’t work related, there’s been the health benefits of getting out in the fresh air and exercising, and of course we’ve reduced car journeys and helped to reduce pollution.”

Councillor Louise Harris, cabinet member with responsibility for climate and nature emergency, said: “We are working hard to provide sustainable alternatives and encourage more people to get out of motorised vehicles, more often. Cycling is a great way to keep active and fewer car journeys on our roads means better air quality, more pleasant neighbourhoods, and is much better for the environment.

“It’s fantastic to hear the success stories from last year’s round of applications. Active Travel Grants are a great way support smaller organisations make a big impact when it comes to reducing carbon emissions as we work towards net zero by 2030.”

Organisations can apply more than once, but only one grant per organisation will be awarded. Applications are reviewed and assessed with the highest scoring applications being awarded a grant. Recipients are required to adhere to the associated terms and conditions.

For more information and to request an application form, please email: transport.policy@southglos.gov.uk The closing date for applications is 31 May 2024.