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York gets gold in cycle friendly scheme

Posted on 2 October 2019

The University of York has been awarded gold in the Cycle Friendly Employer scheme.

Left to right: Warren Goodwill (Travel and Transport team) Sophie Gavriel (student and Sustainability Engagement summer intern), Nigel Smith (travel and transport team) and Dean Spears (Director of Campus Services).

Swansea and Belfast are the only other universities to hold a gold award in the UK, making York the only university in England to have achieved gold level accreditation.

The Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation (CFE-UK) was developed within the EU project ‘Bike2Work’, and is awarded in the UK by Cycling UK.

Recognised for their success at a Bronze, Silver or Gold standard, organisations must meet a range of measures to demonstrate their cycle-friendliness, including communications, training and incentives for staff as well as physical facilities such as secure cycle parking, showers and changing rooms.


Sophie Gavriel, a third year student in the Department of Environment and Geography, submitted the University’s successful application for the award while doing a summer internship at the University in sustainability engagement.

Sophie said: “Achieving the CFE accreditation is such a great way to demonstrate the work that the University does to encourage and facilitate cycling.

“As a student, the accessibility of cycle facilities and routes is a great way to get around campus easily and quickly, as well as the fitness and health benefits, which are all important to student well-being."

Cycle friendly city

James Palser from Cycling UK said, “We were impressed by the University of York because of the number and breadth of initiatives in place to encourage more people to cycle – including cycle parking facilities, cycle training and maintenance sessions to keep bikes in working order.

“We are extremely pleased to see the hard work the University is doing to show that York is truly a cycle friendly city.”

CO2 emissions

As part of its cycle promotion initiatives, the University recently took part in Love to Ride’s Cycle September, with members of the University community collectively cycling more than 30,000 miles over the month – equivalent to cycling to Singapore and back, twice.  This included 15,500 commuting miles, saving over 4,500 kg of CO2 emissions as well as helping to reduce road congestion.

Dean Spears, Director of Campus Services at the University of York, said: “This award is excellent recognition of the University of York's ongoing commitment to encouraging sustainable travel to, and around, campus for staff, students and the wider community. As a cyclist myself, I'm delighted to be part of an institution which provides such a wide range of incentives and facilities for cyclists".

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