One of the UK’s largest transport specialists yesterday took the bizarre step of banning its employees from cycling. Jacobs Babtie, which works with Transport for London on promoting cycling and walking as an alternative to driving, sent an email to its staff informing them that they must drive or use public transport when on company business.
Staff, many of whom are dismayed by the ban, believe it to be the result of the company’s insurance policy, and that claims that it is motivated by a concern for their safety are largely spurious.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone’s transport advisor, Jenny Jones told the Times that she found the step absurd:
“It is hypocritical to offer advice on promoting cycling but at the same time ban your staff from using bikes. If Jacobs does not understand how important cycling is to TfL, we need to ask whether they are the right sort of company to work with.”
Further calls for TfL to cut their links with Jacobs Babtie, including from the Cyclists Touring Club, are likely to worry the company, which last year received over £6 million worth of contracts from the London transport authority.