Would any of the following be useful at your workplace if they were provided free?
- A mechanic coming in to check over, tweak and security mark bikes?
- Some secure cycle parking at your workplace, maybe an easy-to-install, ‘toast rack’?
- Tailored 1:1 training sessions (bike provided) for people who are thinking about cycling to work but want advice first, or for regular cyclists to fine tune their urban cycling skills?
With minimal effort your company can receive one or all of those benefits from TfL. You get to choose what you need. If you already have cycle parking, or lack space to install it, why not book more mechanics sessions instead, maybe one every three months. There’s a whole ‘shopping’ list of free stuff to choose from.
There must be 5 or more people who work at the site in London (don’t forget the cleaner) - even if the company HQ is elsewhere. Volunteers, e.g. if you work for a charity or place of worship, count too. The more people who work at a site, the more goodies are available. With just five employees you can have all the items I listed above.
I reckon it should take most small companies, or branches of big companies, about an hour, in ten minutes chunks, to jump through the hoops to get the funding (and you can do most of this on the company’s behalf, with the boss’s permission).
1. Tap your site postcode and the number of employees who work there into the TfL site. If you work for a large multi-site company just put the details for your site e.g. Bloggs Builders Merchants, Bromley depot. Other sites can also get support.
2. Answer an email with a scary-looking question about something called ‘de minimis’. DO NOT PANIC. Your organisation will immediately know if it has received ‘de minimis’ state aid and, if so, how much because Government bodies, like TfL, must include this paragraph in the offer letter, along with the value of the award in euros:
“Under EC regulation 1998/2006 (de minimis aid regulation) this is a de minimis aid. There is a ceiling of €200,000 for all de minimis aid provided to any one firm over a 3-year period. Any de minimis aid awarded to you under this offer letter will be relevant if you wish to apply, or have applied, for any other de minimis aid. For the purposes of the de minimis regulation, you must keep this letter for 3 years from the date on this letter and produce it on any request by the UK public authorities or the European Commission. (You may need to keep this letter for longer than 3 years for other purposes.)”
3. Give work colleagues a link to a simple four-question tick-box travel survey and twist their arms until at least three out of ten have completed it.
4. Choose the stuff you want and order it. Even the delivery of cycle stands is paid for, though you’ll have to sort out a handy person to bolt the free cycle parking to the ground.
5. Make a note in your diary to do the same easy survey again in a year’s time or else the company might have to fork out the cost of the things you’ve been given.
Enjoy the new cycle parking, your checked and tweaked bikes, and more people cycling to work. And spread the word about www.tfl.gov.uk/cyclingworkplaces to people you know at other workplaces.