Edinburgh’s economy, business, employees and the population at large are all increasingly benefiting from cycling – and the opportunities are growing…
At Amazon Development Centre in central Edinburgh around 15% of the staff cycle to work and the company’s recruitment video asks, “Where else can you go cycling round an extinct volcano at lunch time?” Edinburgh University tells prospective new staff, “Edinburgh is a compact city, easy to get round on foot or by bike” and “we continually improve facilities for cycling.” RBS Gogarburn Bike User Group now has around 600 members.
As this government report shows, businesses, large and small, benefit in multiple ways from growing bike use – in areas as diverse as a healthier more contented workforce, or opportunities for door-to-door, quick, quiet, emissions-free bike and cargo bike deliveries.
Growing bike use and a bike-friendly environment also benefit and expand the bike trade – more shops, growing expertise and training facilities, specialisation, etc. They also throw up new bike-related business options – such as the bearded barista coffee bike, the velopost service and the wide-ranging Festival of Cycling.
A huge future opportunity to link and boost cycling and business, to their mutual advantage, is the City/Region Deal, a bid by Edinburgh and surrounding councils for £1000m to invest in “infrastructure, skills and innovation.” There are, however, some concerns that the proposals are insufficiently ‘green,’ and a report on how it could develop more sustainably was prepared by Cllr Gavin Corbett following a round-table discussion (in which we took part).
To investigate all the above issues our autumn public meeting will be on Benefiting Business through Cycling, with expert speakers from the Council, the Chamber of Commerce, a bike business and the Bike User Group of one of Edinburgh’s largest employers. We hope the talks, questions, discussion and networking will result in new ideas, opportunities and link-ups.
- the council… Cllr Lesley Hinds, Convener, City of Edinburgh Council Transport & Environment Committee.
- local business… Michael Johnston, Vice-President, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce
- local bike trade… Hannah Ward, partner, The Cycle Service
- big business… David Monaghan, organiser, RBS Gogarburn’s Bicycle User Group
- followed by a one-hour audience QA/ panel discussion chaired by Dr Caroline Brown, Assistant Professor, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University.
- Thursday 10 November, 7.30-9.30pm
- Doors open 6.45 for coffee, stalls & chat. Tea/Coffee served until 7.15
- Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh
- Poster – click poster above to download pdf
- Queries? / More info? Email spokes AT spokes.org.uk
How you can publicise the meeting
- Tell interested friends and colleagues
- Download the poster and disseminate it – click on the poster picture above. Spokes members will get a printed copy in their autumn mailing in October
- If you’re on twitter please RT our @SpokesLothian tweet about the meeting. If doing your own tweets use hashtag #SpokesMtg.
- Our Autumn Bulletin [in October] will contain a Benefiting Business through Cycling supplement, with articles by our meeting speakers and others.