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Coca Cola and Thames Water join #ChooseCycling for their employees

British Cycling campaign fights to transform Britain into a true cycling nation

British Cycling’s 10-point plan to transform Britain into a true cycling nation has been supported by Coca-Cola and Thames Water, the latest businesses to lend their support to #ChooseCycling, British Cycling’s 10-point plan to transform Britain into a true cycling nation.

The companies join the likes of Orange, Santander, GlaxoSmithKline and National Grid in signing up to the campaign and encouraging their employees and customers to be more active, live healthier lives and make Britain a more pleasant place to live and work.

Severn Trent Water, train operator Abellio, law firm Leigh Day and John Forbes Consulting have also joined the expanding network in recent weeks.

Launched by British Cycling in March of this year, the #ChooseCycling network of businesses aims to promote cycling as an everyday transport option, ensuring that cycling receives adequate and meaningful investment at government level.

The #ChooseCycling network of businesses aims to promote cycling as an everyday transport option.

Martin Key, British Cycling’s campaigns manager, said: “It is fantastic to see the likes of Coca-Cola, Thames Water, Abellio and Severn Trent Water pledge their support to #ChooseCycling and become the latest influential companies to publicly state their commitment to promoting cycling among their employees and customers.

“Following the formation of the network in March, the companies involved wrote a joint open letter to the leaders of the main British political parties, urging them to form an integrated transport strategy for cycling.

“Responding to this letter, David Cameron pointed to £200m the Conservative party has pledged to invest to make cycling safer. It is crucial now that we continue to build support for #ChooseCycling, and that this network plays its part in ensuring that the Prime Minister sticks to his promises and helps to transform Britain into a cycling nation.”

The latest developments mean that the #ChooseCycling network now boasts over 30 member companies, who between them represent around 200,000 employees and have a total of around 46 million customers.

The companies, who all share the belief that an increase in cycling would be good for their workforce, meet to share best practice about promoting cycling among their employees and customers. They also receive support from British Cycling on a range of cycling-related subjects.

Karl Simons, head of safety, Health and Wellbeing, Thames Water, said: “Thames Water operates a fleet of HGVs and promotes cycling as part of an active lifestyle for our staff, so we believe we have a particular duty to improve road safety for all.

“Being part of the #ChooseCycling network will help us deliver safer streets for cycling.”

The 10 points behind #ChooseCycling are:

    1 Cycle-proofing: accommodate cycling in everything we do

    Cycle-proofing means that all relevant policymaking specifically addresses the impact a new infrastructure plan will have on the convenience, desirability and safety of cycling. The outcome is roads and junctions that accommodate cycling through better road design and traffic management.

    2 Meaningful and consistent levels of investment

    For cycle-proofing to become a reality it has to be backed with meaningful and consistent levels of funding.

    3 Consistent political leadership for cycling

    National and local government must set out long-term cycling action plans with measurable targets, including designating responsibility for growing cycling to senior officials.

    4 Improving the justice system to protect and support vulnerable road users

    Review how incidents where people on bikes are killed or seriously injured are investigated and prosecuted to give all road users the confidence that the justice system will protect them.

    5 Adding cycling safety to the driving test

    Cycle awareness must be a core part of driving tests with the emphasis on testing how to drive safely when sharing the road with people on bikes.

    6 Strengthening cycling safety provisions in the Highway Code

    Where the Highway Code deals with people on bikes, the focus must shift to measures that improve safety most effectively such as the need for new overtaking standards and removing advice to wear certain clothing when cycling.

    7 Road and cycle safety awareness

    National government and council-led road safety campaigns must focus on reducing risk at source with clear and consistent messaging.

    8 Reducing the risk to people on bikes from HGVs

    Make HGVs fit for use on our roads by improving the design of new vehicles, ensuring all existing vehicles are as safe as possible and by helping drivers through improved training and planning.

    9 Cycle training made available for all children

    Make cycle training part of the curriculum to give all children the opportunity to learn how to ride safely on the road.

    10 Reducing speed limits saves lives of all road users

    Make it easier and cheaper for councils to reduce speed limits in urban and residential areas.

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alotronic | 8 years ago

Yep, I have a coke on long Audax rides at about 3am and it does the trick nicely, but an every day drink? No way!

Carton | 8 years ago

One of the few somewhat healthy uses of Coke is a recovery drink for really hard endurance exercise. So they are probably keen on marketing for a legitimate use even it it's one 0.1% of their clients will give it. It's the SUV marketing strategy blended in with the Red Bull marketing strategy.

To be fair, though, Coca Cola does seem to be trying to diversify away from Coke as much as possible (not for the first time ;)).

alotronic | 8 years ago

Coke's current line is that activity trumps sugar consumption when it comes to fat - a simple take that doesn't bear up to analysis (exercise is good but eating less crap is the better way to lose weight, and both together works best of course).

They are sponsoring a lot of activity at local level, piggybacking/mimicing the success of Parkrun with Parklife.

I wouldn't be surprised if coke released a 'coke exercise' option on the back of this.

freespirit1 | 8 years ago

Who should be sponsoring it then? It is all very well saying who shouldn't, how about suggesting some alternatives?

jstone1 | 8 years ago

Involving the sugar water company is really depressing. I think it's in exactly the same league as the "flying fag packets" sponsorship of old. Sugar is the new tobacco.

dafyddp | 8 years ago

I'ma bit torn over Coca Cola's involvement. One the one hand I can't help view it as a cynical PR move, but I also recognise that corporates of this level have more clout than any number of well-meaning lobbying groups. It's not quite in the same league as when tobacco companies sponsored pretty much every sport under the sun, but it's uncomfortable nonetheless.

arfa | 8 years ago

More power to this campaign's elbow I say. The more corporates that sign up to it, the further behind the curve our politicians will become.
Any politician claiming to advance cycling should be asked what they have actually done (and I mean done and not said) on each of the ten points before claiming to be supporter. And no Mr Cameron, lobbing a token figure from some underling department is neither support nor leadership.

severs1966 replied to arfa | 8 years ago
arfa wrote:

...Any politician claiming to advance cycling should be asked what they have actually done...

That's an easy question then!

None of them have done anything. None of them care whether actual bike riders live or die. They just want your votes, because they are interested in power. Not representiong the public, not advancing cycling, not public safety. Just power.

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