Is it really Free2Cycle?
We assume that nothing is free in this world anymore, but Free2Cycle have just proved us wrong. This unique initiative encourages commuters to get out of the car and get on the bike. After extensive research and development of their initiative, Free2Cycle have successfully created a fabulous scheme for anyone and everyone commuting to work. They reassure us, ‘if we give everyone a free bike and get them cycling we can help to improve health, have a positive impact on the environment and save money for individuals and society’. The initiative is designed to encourage the sustainable mode of transport: cycling. This will improve your well-being and productivity at work too. These substantial benefits are guaranteed if you adhere to the pledge you make at the beginning.
Above is the cycle on how the initiative works, displaying the way in which the Free2Cycle works. So as a cyclist you pledge your mileage, your sponsor then contributes 20 pence per mile to Free2Cycle for each mile you commute, so you continue to gain from the benefits they offer. Then in turn, this greener commute will lead to the reduction of your carbon footprint and you will be encouraging the sustainable change in the future from the use of greener modes of transport.
“One kilometer by car costs the economy £0.13, whereas society earns £0.14 on every kilometer cycled.”
With a plethora of benefits, we’re wondering why you’d even consider saying no?
Free2Cycle make this challenge achievable and realistic too, recommending that you cycle 4 days of your working week and dropping the mileage in the winter months, November-February. There is a minimum commute of 20 miles per week, but these realistic goals are designed to motivate you to keep going. Understanding that abnormalities can happen in your regular routine, which make it not possible to ride to work every day. This, along with a holiday and sick day allowance, the initiative work around you and help you to grow as a rider. The initiative is based on a 48 month contract, which you can renew at the end to keep up your sustainable commute.
Regular exercise will benefit your personal mental and physical health tremendously. It is a thoroughly researched and repeatedly proven fact that frequent activity will improve a multitude of the aspects in your life, just a handful of examples: improved concentration, alertness, focus, enhanced creativity, reduced stress levels, prolonged mental stamina, and improves sleep. With many more benefits, such as weight loss and illness prevention, exercise is key to a vibrant lifestyle. The problem is, in this day and age, we are all extremely busy, the world has evolved into a bustling, hectic modern place, so when would you have the time to do this exercise, let alone regularly!? Free2Cycle work on the basis that you pledge what you will bike, and you will get rewarded for it, cycling is a much more cost effective and environmentally friendly than driving. That’s why Free2Cycle is perfect for you and a simple swap is much more straightforward than you originally thought!
When people talk about emissions and the toxic air that is produced by cars and the massive impact it has on the environment, it’s pretty self-explanatory. The amounts of carbon dioxide that the world produces is much more than is natural for the environment, having a negative impact on the world - the biggest and fast increasing example is climate change. But it is lesser known of the effects that these toxins have on the human body. The emissions include other toxins aside from carbon dioxide, such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and many more! These impact the human body’s respiratory system, by being absorbed into our bloodstream after inhaling the air, impacting on our hearts, muscles, and blood vessels. This year alone toxic air has led to 55 deaths in the UK, this is exclusive of the amount of deaths that include toxic air as a contributing factor. So yes, humans were not made for the type of society we have evolved into, just like the environment is not made to exist with these levels of pollution and toxic air.
Swapping driving for cycling has an enormous impact on the environment. This encourages the reduction of cars on the road, which in 2015 accounted for 86% of the total trips made. Taking into account that one car on average pollutes the air with 4.7 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, this equates to a significant strain on the environment.
Instead of using fossil fuels, Free2Cycle promotes the use of pedal power. They promise that as long as you ride your pledged mileage it’s free for you. Pedal power becomes the currency, and by pedaling you save money and the environment.
TP Co-ordinators aim to reduce the amount of single car occupied cars on the road and enhance the usage of more sustainable modes of transport. When thinking of modes of travel, the main 5 are bus, train, car, walk or cycle. However, three of these five modes give out emissions, so the next best yet still efficient mode is to cycle. Part of the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ Campaign (founded in 2013) works closely with the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (APPCG) to promote cycling and make roads safer for cyclists. They aimed to increase the amount of travel by bike from 2% in 2011, to 25% by 2025. This is easily achievable by changing to cycling for your commute. The ‘Get Britain Cycling’ Campaign strive to ensure a strong, long-term funding commitment to cycling to encourage a rise in the cycling community.
The average person’s carbon footprint in the UK (2006 data) is 9.66 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This can easily be brought down by your choice of travel. On average a person’s carbon footprint is: 10% food, 20% household, 35% travel and 5% other. Commuting most probably takes up a lot of that 35%, which is easily changed with the Free2Cycle initiative. You can change the rate and impact of emissions by riding your bike to work.
How is this even possible?
It works on a basic understanding that the employer benefits from a more active employee. The brain is stimulated by exercise, making you more energetic, more alert, and much more productive. With this as an incentive, Free2Cycle ask your employer to contribute towards the bike. Depending on how far you travel to work, depends on the type of cycle is available to you. But let’s say for example, you get a cycle worth £600, your employer would pay as little as £20. In addition to this, regular exercise has been proven to prevent the development of many illnesses and diseases, which in the long term will improve your attendance to work.
The benefits as an employer:
Increased productivity of the employee;
Reduced absence rate, therefore reduced sick pay;
Reduced parking fees;
Carbon offset and credit opportunities;
Reduced emissions and noise pollution;
Healthier and happier people;
Adding value to the greater economy;
Participating in a sustainable travel initiative.
The benefits as an employee:
Replacing time spent on commuting with time keeping fit and benefitting the environment at the same time;
Substantial savings – average saving of £150 per month on commuting;
Bike for free;
Improved health and well-being;
Reducing your carbon footprint.
Free2Cycle is a fantastic way to keep fit, improve your mental well-being and reduce your carbon footprint. This initiative aims to improve physical and mental well-being of its participants, whilst having a positive impact on the environment. The impact of just one person joining is huge, let alone when groups join! There are so many benefits for the employers as well as the employees, it’s incredible how much can be done. The Welcome Information for the Free2Cycle initiative is attached here, and contact links are below. Get your journey to work started.
Follow TP Co-ordinators for more information on sustainable travel @tpcoordinators
(All data information found at WRI, Dft and Free2Cycle)