COMPANIES in Bradford are being invited to become bike-friendly businesses as a scheme is extended across West Yorkshire.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect team is extending its existing Bike Friendly Business scheme to firms in the region wanting to encourage more of their employees to cycle to work.

Any business operating in West Yorkshire is now eligible to benefit from the accreditation, which includes free consultation from cycling development advisors, and the chance of a £5,000 grant towards improvements for staff cycling facilities.

Bradford businesses that have already benefited from the scheme, when it focussed on the Cycle Superhighway route from Bradford to Leeds, include Shipley Wellness Centre, Bradford Teaching Hospitals, Bradford Trident and Yorkshire Building Society.

A further three Bradford organisations are currently in the process of applying for accreditation.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee chairman said: “Active travel is a key element of local transport and the Combined Authority is committed to working with public and private sector partners to ensure we can make the Leeds city region a world-leader in cycling and walking.

“We are already developing world-class cycling and walking infrastructure and through the Bike Friendly Business, we will work with companies to make commuting by bike more attractive and convenient. And the schemes and facilities developed through the Bike Friendly Business can in turn helping businesses to recruit locally and make jobs more accessible for surrounding communities.

“On a wider basis, supporting local people to access employment and training through active travel modes, we will see an improvement in physical and mental health for more people who can benefit from CityConnect initiatives.”

David Procter of Shipley Wellness Centre, said: “Cycling is one of the great ways you can get fit as we are so close to some great cycle routes. “We are looking forward to helping and encouraging more people to get on their bikes.”

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