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Birmingham

Occupiers say saddle up or get on your bike

Landlords see active demand for cycling facilities


BIRMINGHAM, 3rd February, 2015 - Landlords not offering facilities for employees wanting to cycle to work may well lose potential occupiers says Jon Carmalt, director of office agency at JLL, as he is seeing active tenant demand for cycling facilities such as secure cycle storage, showers, drying rooms and lockers.

Jon Carmalt said: "Last year, census analysis revealed the popularity of commuting by bike has increased by 17 per cent to more than 760,000 people in the past ten years, an increase of 110,000 on 2001.

"The property profession is alive to tenant requirement trend changes and for the first time the latest British Council for Offices Guide to Specification now contains guidance on provision for cyclists.  It is fair to assume therefore that new office developments will make such provision.  However it is also a real issue for existing office buildings.  As an example we have tenders out for a couple of office refurbishment schemes coming forward in the city centre.   Cycling facilities are now something of a priority, even replacing car parking in one instance and as cities look to become smarter and greener, more will be invested in cycling routes following in the footsteps of Boris and his successful bike scheme in London."

Birmingham City Council is investing £24 million to create a new cycling network, with improvements being made to canal towpaths with the help of the Canal and River Trust and a number of off-road routes being created. Upgrades to some of the busiest routes in the city including Hagley and Bristol Roads, with dedicated cycle lanes and safety improvements at junctions are also being invested in.

Lisa Trickett, cabinet member for a green, smart and sustainable city at the council revealed this month that Raleigh will supply 5,000 bikes to the city – and 3,000 will be given away, helping to make pedal power a reality for thousands of commuters as part of the authority’s Mobility Action Plan (BMAP).

"Clearly such a strong emerging trend can't be ignored by landlords of city centre offices.  JLL is itself a supporter of the government's Cycle to Work scheme, which is reported to be the fastest growing and most sought after employee benefit in the UK. We've also entered a three-year sponsorship agreement with professional road and track cyclist and twice Olympic Gold Medalist Geraint Thomas."