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South West Water backs the Exeter Cycling Charter

25th October 2016

image depicting South West Water employee Andre Van Thiel cycles to and from work

South West Water is one of the first businesses in Exeter to sign up to the Exeter Cycling Charter.

The company, based at Rydon Lane on the edge of Exeter, has long encouraged staff to consider alternative modes of transport and provides good facilities for staff who cycle to work.
Business Services and Sustainability Director, Monica Read, said:  "We recognise that an active workforce is a healthier workforce, which is good both for the wellbeing of our staff and for our business.  South West Water is pleased to support the Exeter Cycling Charter as a demonstration of our organisation's commitment to a more sustainable way of doing business."
"When you consider the facts about the benefits of enabling cycling it is obvious," said Mike Walton, a member of the Exeter Cycling Campaign. "Research shows that cycling benefits both the physical and psychological well-being of employees, leading to reduced absenteeism as well as a host of other benefits."
In signing up to the Exeter Cycling Charter, organisations are showing their support for cycling as an everyday means of transport for people of all ages and abilities.  They are pledging to support Exeter and Devon's leaders in delivering a better future for all Exeter citizens, where cycling is a key means of tackling the congestion, pollution and unhealthy lifestyle challenges that the city faces.
The Exeter Cycling Charter says: We, the people, businesses, organisations and schools in Exeter want our city to be a vibrant place to work, study, thrive and do business. We recognise that...

· cycling has an important part to play in addressing Exeter's challenges of congestion, inactive lifestyles, pollution and population growth.

· cycling supports local business, boosts economic productivity and contributes to the health and well-being of our workforce.

· pressure on the growing city will be relieved if more people cycle.

· increasing physical activity significantly eases the burden on our health and social care services. We want Exeter to be a city where...

· children can cycle to school or college safely.

· people can travel to work safely, directly and easily on a convenient and connected cycle network.

· our roads and public spaces prioritise people and make cycling the safe, natural choice for short journeys.

· cycling contributes to our prosperity, helps us stay healthy and keeps people and goods moving.

We want to support our leaders in delivering this better future for the people, businesses, organisations and schools of Exeter.· Some facts about the business case for cycling: • The average economic benefit-to-cost ratio of investing in cycling & walking schemes is 13:1. • Physical inactivity directly contributes to 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and nationally costs £7.4 billion a year to business and wider society.  Health-promoting transport systems are pro-business and support economic prosperity. They enable optimal travel to work, with less congestion, collisions, pollution, and support a healthier workforce. • Cycling saves a third of road space compared to driving,  helping cut congestion. • Pollution, of which transport pollution is the greatest contributor, contributes to the premature death of 42 people per year in Exeter alone. • High street walking and cycling projects have increased retail sales by up to 30%.

Published: 25 October 2016

For further information please contact:

Press Office
South West Water