Author Topic: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?  (Read 3114 times)

My office is moving from Milton Park in Didcot (very good public transport links including a subsidised bus from Didcot Parkway) to Abingdon (no train station, bus services from Didcot take ages, rubbish traffic from all directions). Sadly, much of the discussion in the staff meeting was about car parking spaces...

I'm pestering those in charge of the move about secure bike parking because I want to return to bike commuting from September (no longer needed to act as child taxi service :) ), but what else should I be pushing for to help my colleagues/office use sustainable transport?
We currently do the cycle to work scheme through Evans, though I don't know anyone who has used it!

PaulF

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Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2020, 04:40:31 pm »
I’d be asking for showers, changing rooms, drying racks and lockers to store your belongings if you’re going to be cycling.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2020, 04:43:09 pm »
I would personally get in touch with Cycling UK or British Cycling. See e.g. the number at the end https://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclefriendlyemployer . Ask if they can arrange for some kind of consultation with your organisation's leadership, with reference to this kind of affair. They might be able to persuade your org's leadership that there is commercial value in their proposals with reference to case studies. Ideally an in-person meeting but a conference call could also be better than nothing. A bunch of 'actionable minutes' would hopefully come out of this that the top brass would be under more pressure to implement. If you can, get as many bike users in the office together to submit this request jointly. Don't get bogged down in it yourself, it's too big a process.
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2020, 04:43:32 pm »
My office is moving from Milton Park in Didcot (very good public transport links including a subsidised bus from Didcot Parkway) to Abingdon (no train station, bus services from Didcot take ages, rubbish traffic from all directions). Sadly, much of the discussion in the staff meeting was about car parking spaces...

I'm pestering those in charge of the move about secure bike parking because I want to return to bike commuting from September (no longer needed to act as child taxi service :) ), but what else should I be pushing for to help my colleagues/office use sustainable transport?
We currently do the cycle to work scheme through Evans, though I don't know anyone who has used it!

Gold standard to me is:

- Indoor bike parking - Access controlled for employees only (guests with escort), CCTV monitoring, Sheffield stands, power sockets to recharge ebikes/lights etc...
- Drying room - Somewhere you can hang your wet clothes, plus a warm radiator to dry gloves etc...
- Shower - For when the ride is longer, or the weather warmer
- Space for 1 bike per employee at least.
- Track pump - Stored in the bike room, so you can top your tyres up if needed.

The worst of all solutions is when you get wheel bender racks, round the back by the bins where noone can see them, space for 1 bike per 50 employees, and no radiators anywhere in the building...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 05:00:45 pm »
There is not going to be indoor bike parking - we're renting space in a shared building.  According to the website for the new park, the site apparently has showers and lockers and a towel service (!?), though it's not clear where these facilities are.
I sent them the Cambridge Cycle Campaign guidance on bike parking, so hopefully that will mean that any facilities they do provide will be vaguely useful, but I'll have a look at the cycle friendly employer stuff - that's exactly what I was after, thanks. :)

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2020, 05:22:54 pm »
There is not going to be indoor bike parking - we're renting space in a shared building. 

Which idiot chose the building then?

In a shared building they could have a room for every one to use...

J
--
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http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2020, 05:36:06 pm »
In a shared building they could have a room for every one to use...

Or the landlord could rent that room out for more income.

A friend moved to work for a cycle training company, he would like to but chooses not to cycle commute as there's no secure cycle storage at the office. (This is a mostly administrative office, the cycle trainers themselves aren't based there.) Same deal, rented space in a shared building. The company tried to get the landlord to do something but they aren't interested, and moving offices is prohibitively expensive.

We're mostly ok here. Indoor-ish bike parking but still not entirely secure. Plenty of showers and lockers. No dedicated drying room or radiator but stuff left in the locker room tends to dry by the end of the day. Mixture of Sheffield stands and wheel benders (but people are generally careful).

Track pump lasted a few weeks before it broke. Replacement disappeared within a few more weeks (some people have had their cheap clip on lights stolen in the past).

- Space for 1 bike per employee at least.

Ha! Hahaha! ~1000 employees and ~50 spaces but it's only peak summer where there might be a need for 2 or 3 more spaces.

For me the order of things would be:-
* Showers (really am not interested in wet wipes or trying to ride so slowly I don't sweat)
* Lockers (I don't want to have to carry everything with me, and partly because I run commute once a week and it's nice to just run with a tiny rucksack and have everything waiting for me at work)
* Space (I don't want a daily fight for somewhere to lock it up)
* Security (with poor security or outdoor racks I'd use a cheaper/cheap hackbike but I'd still cycle)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2020, 05:42:55 pm »
We had an announcement a couple of weeks ago that our office is moving 12 miles to somewhere without a station, with poor bus options, with thoroughly unpleasant/dangerous direct routes for cycling etc.  Apparently it is OK though because the big boss drives past the new site every day on his way to the current site  ::-)

Discussions on the move have just started and the answer to the question 'Are there cycle racks, are they secure and covered?' was 'Being looked at'.  This doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2020, 05:56:36 pm »
There should be a tax on businesses for Private Staff Commuting Mileage. Something like that might get businesses to look at relocating in a different way.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2020, 06:21:36 pm »
There should be a tax on businesses for Private Staff Commuting Mileage. Something like that might get businesses to look at relocating in a different way.

In .NL it is normal for employers to pay for your commute. This is at a flat rate of €0.19 per km if private vehicle, or the actual cost if public transport. 

Private vehicle includes car, bike, scooter etc... Carrot can work just as well as stick.

J
--
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http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2020, 06:53:46 pm »
DuncanM, where are you commuting from?  And how much of a walk is it from Radley station to the office?
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2020, 09:10:55 am »
DuncanM, where are you commuting from?  And how much of a walk is it from Radley station to the office?
I commute from Barton (east edge of Oxford), by car for now, bike from September. The new office is between the police station and the Tesco at the A34 junction, so at least 4 miles from Radley. Driving the best way is via the A34 (ick), but cycling it's ~9 miles and the roads (via Radley) aren't horrible.
The people worst affected are those who live in Didcot or who come from the south by train to Didcot Parkway. Sucky traffic and slow busses means that it will add ~40 minutes each way for them.
I'm just taking this as an opportunity to fight for cycle provision - there is bound to be money for outfitting the office, so if I can persuade them to spend a tiny fraction of that on bike facilities it will be a huge win. Once we've moved in then it will be too late!
There is not going to be indoor bike parking - we're renting space in a shared building. 
Which idiot chose the building then?
In a shared building they could have a room for every one to use...
We're moving to save money - where we are is apparently much more expensive than the new place. A lot of our business is selling consultancy time meaning lots of people have to visit client sites all over the country - cars are an assumption and long commutes are relatively common. We'll have around 70 desks - if there's 10 bike spaces that will probably be sufficient.
According to a news piece I found on the web, the most recent people to move there are paying £17 per square foot (per month I assume). 1 bike space is what 6ft x 2 ft? That's > £200 per month per bike - car parking spaces are cheaper than that!

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2020, 11:12:18 am »
We're moving to save money - where we are is apparently much more expensive than the new place. A lot of our business is selling consultancy time meaning lots of people have to visit client sites all over the country - cars are an assumption and long commutes are relatively common. We'll have around 70 desks - if there's 10 bike spaces that will probably be sufficient.
According to a news piece I found on the web, the most recent people to move there are paying £17 per square foot (per month I assume). 1 bike space is what 6ft x 2 ft? That's > £200 per month per bike - car parking spaces are cheaper than that!

Stick an ISO container in a parking space...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2020, 12:24:17 pm »

Stick an ISO container in a parking space...

That's not a  bad idea. I had been thinking more along these lines:
https://www.direct2u.co.uk/cycle-shelters/fortis-cycle-shelter-with-cycle-rack.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAyKrxBRDHARIsAKCzn8yhLBb3xsHCLazFSd-p4NWL65s0TZEqVz75xSiadpKbH9h4pDWDfmgaAsyzEALw_wcB

Fundamentally, if it's too much hassle or expense, the move organiser is just going to write me off as trouble and do nothing. I suspect using their precious parking spaces for a container or a shelter is not an option, but I might have an explore on my bike on the weekend and see if there's a suitable alternative location.

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2020, 01:46:23 pm »


Fundamentally, if it's too much hassle or expense, the move organiser is just going to write me off as trouble and do nothing.

I would take that as a cue to start organising your own 'move'  :demon:
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2020, 03:18:41 pm »

Stick an ISO container in a parking space...

That's not a  bad idea. I had been thinking more along these lines:
https://www.direct2u.co.uk/cycle-shelters/fortis-cycle-shelter-with-cycle-rack.html

Fundamentally, if it's too much hassle or expense, the move organiser is just going to write me off as trouble and do nothing. I suspect using their precious parking spaces for a container or a shelter is not an option, but I might have an explore on my bike on the weekend and see if there's a suitable alternative location.

That is a crap design. Sure it has Sheffield stands rather than wheel benders, and it will keep some of the weather out when the wind is in the right direction, but it doesn't provide enough security.

Proper work bike parking facilities need to be designed to be secure enough for someone to lock their work handbag with laptop and phone in it, unattended all day. If it doesn't pass that test, then it is not secure enough for work bike storage.

If your employer isn't going to actively try to get it's employees out of cars and onto better forms of transport, then IMHO, you're best off considering if there are employers with better attitudes.

The cost of recruiting an employee for any skilled profession is in the 10's of thousands, companies should be taking more care to make sure they retain their employees, whilst helping them to travel in ways that are more environmentally friendly and better for the health of the employees.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2020, 03:40:11 pm »
There should be a tax on businesses for Private Staff Commuting Mileage. Something like that might get businesses to look at relocating in a different way.

In .NL it is normal for employers to pay for your commute. This is at a flat rate of €0.19 per km if private vehicle, or the actual cost if public transport. 

Private vehicle includes car, bike, scooter etc... Carrot can work just as well as stick.

J

That sounds remarkably sensible.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Phil W

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2020, 03:43:31 pm »
Make sure the bike racks are the Sheffield type, covered and next to the entrance.  I got ours moved from the other side of a car park to right next to the doors to the office. Plus we got nice new glass ones.

I had great success talking with HR and facilities when there was a proposal to convert a set of showers to an extra meeting room. Pointing out that it would cause x number of cyclists to drive instead and put pressure on already overflowing car parks.

Also ask about cycle and pedestrian access to the site and what is being provisioned.

Mind in this day and age most companies should have a sustainability and climate champion.

Do you know if there are any other cyclists in the company? I set up a bicycle user group,(BUG) when I wanted to get things improved.  We included facilities and a HR representative in monthly meetings.

Plus the space for car parking isn’t free. How much is your company paying for that?

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2020, 07:43:31 pm »
Proper work bike parking facilities need to be designed to be secure enough for someone to lock their work handbag with laptop and phone in it, unattended all day. If it doesn't pass that test, then it is not secure enough for work bike storage.
In that case, I have never worked at, interviewed at (or maybe even seen) a workplace with suitable work bike storage. The current office park certainly doesn't meet your criteria.

I believe that 2 employees currently cycle regularly (though one may not be after moving because of the increased distance), and a couple intermittently. More people probably care about ensuring the pool table comes with us than we have bike storage. I'm gonna have an explore tomorrow morning (assuming security don't arrest me!) and see what's there. Once I know that then at least I know what I can chase...

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2020, 08:09:47 pm »
In that case, I have never worked at, interviewed at (or maybe even seen) a workplace with suitable work bike storage. The current office park certainly doesn't meet your criteria.

Very very very few companies have proper bike facilities IMHO. Surprisingly the Netherlands is very bad at this.

Quote
I believe that 2 employees currently cycle regularly (though one may not be after moving because of the increased distance), and a couple intermittently. More people probably care about ensuring the pool table comes with us than we have bike storage. I'm gonna have an explore tomorrow morning (assuming security don't arrest me!) and see what's there. Once I know that then at least I know what I can chase...

Give every employee an ebike!

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2020, 08:30:42 pm »
Give every employee an ebike!
;D
I suspect that might be something that the current cycling employees might pursue. You can get eBikes on the cycle to work scheme. I'd like us to have an office ebike that can be borrowed for testing how you could use it, but again, that's probably beyond what is possible in the current climate.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2020, 08:32:01 pm »
Give every employee an ebike!
I suspect that might be something that the current cycling employees might pursue. You can get eBikes on the cycle to work scheme. I'd like us to have an office ebike that can be borrowed for testing how you could use it, but again, that's probably beyond what is possible.

Dutch government has a scheme where you can lease an e-bike for €7 per month...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2020, 08:50:09 pm »
In that case, I have never worked at, interviewed at (or maybe even seen) a workplace with suitable work bike storage. The current office park certainly doesn't meet your criteria.

Very very very few companies have proper bike facilities IMHO. Surprisingly the Netherlands is very bad at this.

Ah yes, the *other* reason for owning a Brompton...
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2020, 09:02:17 pm »
You may find allies in the lunchtime runners. They also appreciate a shower and somewhere to store kit and let stuff dry.
Less so bike storage, but shared office buildings for 100s of people often have something already. They can please several people for relatively little space in a corner that can't realistically fit a car or desk.

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ian

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Re: Office relocation with fewer public transport options - suggestions?
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2020, 09:30:25 pm »
I had lunch with Finestre, the Demon of Such Things, today and I asked her about this. She suggested burning down the proposed office. You don't get a corner office and the best house in Dress Down Friday without thinking outside the box.
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