Employers need to do more to support young people to cycle and walk to work, in order to ease the financial burden of commuting and enable healthier lifestyles.

That’s the verdict of Cycling UK, at the start of this year’s Bike Week (6-12 June).

A new survey published to coincide with the annual event shows that 43% of young people (18-24-year-olds) are considering changing their method of travel due to expected increases in transport costs.

Among those in this age group who do not currently cycle to work, 37% stated improved workplace facilities, such as bike storage and lockers, would encourage them to do so.

More than a third (36%) also said they’d be more likely to cycle to work if their employer offered financial help to buy a bike, and 29% if their workplace offered a cycle to work scheme.

Cycling UK says active travel comes with many benefits to businesses, including increased productivity, better staff retention, lower costs and lower environmental impact.

Sarah Mitchell, Cycling UK’s chief executive, said: “People should be considering cycling as a cost-effective way to commute shorter journeys. The upfront investment, even with e-cycles, soon pays for itself when you consider how much you are saving at the petrol pump.

“However, there are still lingering perceived barriers to cycling, and employers can play a key role in making it a realistic and practical option for their staff. It’s a win-win solution; companies can attract the best young talent while enjoying better staff retention and productivity.

“At the same time, it eases the financial burden on workers, who no longer need to pay to go to the gym yet will feel happier and healthier.”