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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Green experts ban cycling to work
Cyclist
TfL are keen for more people to cycle in London
A firm which advises councils on green transport has come under fire for banning its staff from cycling to work.

Jacobs Engineering Group has sent an email to employees advising them to drive or use public transport.

The firm, which has advised Transport for London (TfL) on sustainable transport, said it wanted to protect staff from road accidents.

TfL said it found Jacobs's attitude "bizarre" and had urged the firm to rethink the ban.

'Hypocritical' move

Jacobs said cycling would only be permitted when it was essential for the job, such as carrying out surveys along river banks and towpaths.

It is hypocritical to offer advice on promoting cycling, but at the same time ban your staff from using bikes
Jenny Jones
London Assembly

On its website, Jacobs states: "In the area of cycling, we can offer expert resources at every stage from cycle policy and promotion through to the detailed design and implementation of cycle schemes."

The company's work for TfL has included monitoring the effects of the London congestion charge.

A TfL spokesman said it was committed to encouraging Londoners to use their bikes as much as possible.

"Our serious investment in growing cycling has seen journeys by bike on soar by 83% since 2000," she said.

She said investment in safety improvements had led to a 28% fall in the number of cyclists killed or injured since the mid-nineties.

London Assembly member Jenny Jones, who advises the mayor on green transport, said TfL should consider cancelling its contracts with Jacobs.

She said: "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."

Jacobs was unavailable for comment.


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