A SCHEME aimed at encouraging more people to travel to and from work by bike is proving hugely successful.

Businesses taking part in the initiative have seen an average increase of 25 per cent in the number of employees saddling-up.

And many firms have received special accreditation for their efforts.

The Bike Friendly Business venture was launched two years ago as part of the £60 million CityConnect programme, run by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Through the project, employers are able to access expert advice and grants of up to £5,000.

Bronze, silver and gold accreditations are awarded to organisations which 'go the extra mile'.

More than 50 of the 180-plus businesses that have participated so far have been accredited.

Grant funding has been used for measures including the installation of high-quality bike parking, pool bikes and cycle training.

Councillor Kim Groves, chairman of the combined authority's transport committee, said: "Through the CityConnect team we're working in partnership to deliver award-winning cycling infrastructure, which importantly is supported by a range of engagement initiatives including backing for businesses.

"The Bike Friendly Business scheme is a great opportunity for employers to access expert advice from a team committed to seeing more people travelling by bike, and it's clear the scheme is having an impact with participating organisations seeing an average increase of 25 per cent in the number of people travelling by bike."

For further information about the scheme, visit cyclecityconnect.co.uk/get-active/working-with-business.