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Bicycle User Groups (BUGs)

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If you want to encourage more people to commute by cycle to your workplace, or use cycles for business travel, setting up a Bicycle User Group is a step in the right direction. This guide tells you how to go about it, and what the BUG can do once it gets going.
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Things for BUGS to do

Admin and publicity

  • Set up and maintain a database of members; and register any skills than might be useful to the BUG.
  • Design a logo.
  • Produce posters and a regular newsletter; publicise success.
  • If your company has an intranet, use it.
  • Set up a central noticeboard / leaflet stand / suggestion box.

Contacts

  • Arrange regular meetings, both with the relevant managers and with BUG supporters.
  • Contact whoever is responsible for cycling at your local council. They may be able to help with any road engineering issues you have; or tell you about any work they're doing on business ‘travel plans’. Invite them to address a BUG meeting.
  • Find out if there is a local CTC campaigner and/or cycle campaign group and involve them.

Resources and research

  • Collect a library/leaflets on:
  • cycle training
  • the local area (procure an appropriate local map – if none, draw one up!)
  • train timetables and information on cycle carriage
  • tax incentives for both employees and employer alike
  • cycle maintenance
  • load carrying, cycle lighting and other equipment
  • Find out more about your workforce via a cycling survey. What's stopping other people from cycling? How can the BUG help?
  • Carry out a survey of your premises and surrounds - are there any access or infrastructure problems for cyclists? Are any of them curable, and if so, how?

Encouraging other people to cycle

  • Ask your employer to take part in a Workplace Challenge.
  • Set up ‘bike buddy’ schemes whereby an experienced cyclist rides to work with a novice until they feel comfortable about the route and more confident about their skills.
  • Contribute to the development of a staff and/or company travel plan.
  • Help arrange cycle training for anyone who wants it.
  • Help arrange for the provision of ‘pool’ bikes, plus related equipment.
  • Investigate your company's willingness to subscribe to the Cycle to Work Scheme, which offers employers of all sizes across the public, private and voluntary sectors a tax exempt cycle and cycle equipment loan scheme for staff.
  • Develop incentives, e.g. vouchers / discounts at local bike shops
  • Assess the need for cycle parking, lockers, showers, drying room, and work with your employer to supply them.
  • Arrange events, e.g.cycling breakfasts (tax free benefit until 2013);  rides; cycle maintenance sessions (your local bike shop might help); presentations.
  • Affiliate your BUG to CTC by calling 0844 736 8451 for advice. Costs start from £50 per year plus a one-off £25 admin fee for BUGs with fewer than 250 members, £75 for more than 250 members plus the £25 one-off admin fee.
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