Maddocks: Bicycle Users Group
|Cost to implement
||No direct savings, but on average each cyclist saves 1 hour per week on commuting time.
||One cyclist saves about 4.5kg of CO2 per week compared to
commuting by car, or 1.5kg compared to taking the train.
||Communication, staff engagement
A Bicycle User Group (BUG) is simply a way for cyclists in a workplace or community to join together. The objectives may vary from being purely social to campaigning for better cycling facilities.
The Maddocks Bicycle User Group (BUG) has 33 active members in Melbourne and 8 in Sydney and its own page on the Maddocks intranet. BUG is intended to support the cyclists at Maddocks especially by passing on knowledge and encouragement from the more experienced riders to those just starting out riding, especially commuting to and from work.
‘Generally, the firm is supportive of alternative transport,’ says Charlie Bell the organiser of the Group. ‘They are encouraging of people riding in and showering at work. We have showers in both the Sydney and Melbourne offices. It’s a passive way of encouraging an active lifestyle.
Many of the Bicycle User Group’s members ride all year around. But the major focus each year is on Ride to Work Day in October.
‘We spend a couple of weeks beforehand promoting it in both the Sydney and Melbourne offices. The firm provides a breakfast on the day with pastries, yoghurt and muesli. Any assistance we have asked for, the firm has always provided.’
The next request for support from the firm? ‘We’re looking at getting a team strip done,’ says Charlie. ‘It would put the Maddocks brand on cycling events like Around the Bay in Melbourne and the Sydney Spring Cycle’.
In Melbourne, bike parking is provided and in Sydney riders park their bikes in their offices.
The intranet page includes tips and links relevant to cycling including to travel smart information. An example of the information on their pages advise:
Cycling to work is surprisingly easy with a little forward planning and preparation. For distances from 5km - 15km to work from home, cycling is usually comparable with driving or public transport in terms of travel time, and often the fastest method to go point-to-point. Plus, it's inexpensive (a good bike, helmet, lights, panniers, lock and a waterproof jacket can be had for the same outlay as an annual Zone 1 Metcard!) and an efficient use of time - an hour otherwise spent sitting inactive is used for exercise, saving time and gym fees! Studies have shown that on average, people who walk or ride to work use 1.5 fewer sick days a year than those driving or using public transport.
There is also a BUG email distribution list set up on Outlook and cycling events and information on cycling is promoted to via this forum.
Pamphlets and posters promoting cycling events like the Great Victorian Bike Ride are also displayed and available throughout the firm.
What were the results?
A recent survey indicated that around 40 people commute by bike at Maddocks on a regular basis. This is about 10% of the partners and staff.
These cyclists average about 3.5 days a week commuting by bike (mainly using public transport the rest of the time). They cycle about 11 kilometers which is approx 35 minutes each way and advise they save themselves about 10 minutes each way by bike compared to their alternative method of commuting.
That's about an hour a week saved in travel time, and significant CO2 savings - about 4.5kg per week compared to driving and 1.5kg a week compared to using the train.
Prepared byShirley Hamel
Director of Knowledge and Business Services