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LGSS Wellbeing achieves 99% user satisfaction for Northamptonshire County Council cycle to work scheme - LGSS

LGSS Wellbeing achieves 99% user satisfaction for Northamptonshire County Council cycle to work scheme

The cycle to work scheme is a government led initiative, which allows employees to purchase a new bike at a reduced cost, while employers benefit from reduced national insurance contributions.

The Challenge

Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) wanted to improve employee wellbeing with a cycle to work scheme.

The council had already delivered a range of health activities through LGSS Wellbeing, including lunchtime walks, wellness days and morning yoga classes. However, NCC craved a long-term solution, which might be appealing to all staff – not just those interested in fitness.

In March 2017, NCC moved a new location without parking facilities, making the need for a cycle to work scheme immediate. Senior management were eager for travel solutions, but remained wary of potential financial barriers.

The Solution

NCC consulted with LGSS Wellbeing and requested a 1.5% employee uptake, based on available evidence for similar schemes.

The scheme would also offer NCC a small financial saving through reduced national insurance costs.

LGSS’ workplace health specialist, Neill Boddingfield, contacted a range of eligible bicycle suppliers and explained NCC’s requirements and targets.

Once the supplier was in place, Neil collaborated with LGSS’ finance and payroll teams to develop the scheme’s infrastructure. This included supporting documentation for employees, internal communications and cycle to work roadshows, which would increase engagement.

To encourage cycling commuters, the LGSS wellbeing team provided information on cycle friendly routes, offered free bike MOTs and ensured communications emphasised everyday cycling instead of race bikes and lycra.

“Great scheme. It’s probably the only way I could ever afford a bike and equipment.”

– Cycle to work participant

Results

In the first year of the scheme, LGSS delivered an employee uptake of 2.3%, surpassing NCC’s 1.5% target.

Of the participating employees, 93% now cycled to work for some/all of their commute, a 58% increase since the scheme was established.

The number of cycling commuters has tripled from 20 to 60 cyclists, while the number of employees cycling to work for at least 1-5 hours per week has almost doubled, going from 28% to 59%.

The LGSS cycle to work scheme received a 99% positive rating from participants.

NCC benefitted from £9,000 in NI contributions during the first year of the scheme, saving a total of £25,000 since the scheme began in 2015.

Next Steps

Interest in the cycle to work scheme is on the rise. Recent bike MOTs are oversubscribed by 200%, while the NCC cyclist database (staff registering that they commute at least occasionally) has increased from circa 50 to over 200.

LGSS Wellbeing is now working with NCC to make sure the facilities within their new business premises, One Angel Square, meet demand for the growing cycle to work scheme.

The LGSS wellbeing team will ensure NCC continues to benefit from an increased take up of the scheme, along with associated NI savings. Crucially, LGSS will support NCC communications to support active travel as an instinctive and viable choice for employees.