Thursday, 22 September 2011

Big business is starting to ditch cars in favour of bikes in central London

News reaches me from a colleague at one of the big four City accounting firms that the firm is adding a further 200 additional bike parking spaces in its  offices in the Square Mile.

Earlier this week, I reported how a property developer that owns some of the world's most iconic office buildings is asking the Mayor to sort out better conditions for people to walk and cycle. It's not doing this for altruistic reasons. Its letter to TfL is clear that this is about making it easier for people to walk or cycle to meetings rather than have to sit in taxis, going nowhere and belching fumes. The streets controlled by the Mayor in the City of London, it says, are not suitable for walking or cycling and they should be. 

So it's extremely encouraging to see the accounting firm Deloitte taking out car parking spaces in its offices in the Square Mile and adding yet more cycle parking spaces. From what I understand, the partners at Deloitte pay for parking spaces on an annual fee. Not only have they given up those spaces but the company has given up that income in order to provide extra space for people who cycle to work.

Makes me think I'd like to work at Deloitte, quite frankly. They join the ranks of a number of other City employers who are wholeheartedly embracing the fact that people want to get around London on foot or on cycles. Too bad that the Mayor's Transport for London is trying to do pretty much anything it can to stop them, in favour of more and faster motor vehicle traffic. 

By the way, if you have time, skip to minutes 3.40 and 3.59 in this video from the newly-launched Dutch Cycling Embassy. And just imagine that sort of thing ever happening in the UK. It's standard practice in all sorts of countries. Not here, though.

Cycling For Everyone from Dutch Cycling Embassy on Vimeo.