The UK Carbon Trust — a green non-profit working to “to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy” — discourages cycling on company business because cycling is too dangerous. They also don’t reimburse employees for Boris bike rentals because “the company cannot assess the quality or safety of any Boris bike and it is impractical for it to undertake risk assessments for each individual journey and to provide training and equipment.”
Sir Chris Hoy and Kelly Brook demonstrate exactly how cycling is dangerous in the below photo: They’re both riding without helmets, without high visibility gear or lighting, and their riding the bike in a way that’s clearly not supported by the design of this bike. Don’t ride like this: they are professional stunt bike riders.
There’s no word on if the Carbon Trust reimburses for car travel, which at least they call “an alternative method of travel” and which is about as dangerous (or safe) as cycling. There’s also no word on their view of simply walking, which is more dangerous per mile than cycling.
After their policy outed by Copenhagenize and Bike Biz, the Carbon Trust sent a “clarification” email to their employees explaining that employees who cycle on the job “must comply with” various equipment and clothing standards.
Bike Biz points out the UK Carbon Trust’s strong ties to the energy industry: Director Dr Paul Jefferiss is group head of policy for BP, and Director James Smith is chairmen of Shell UK. Tom Delay, was middle management at Shell Oil before he became chief executive for the Carbon Trust.
Back in August 2007, the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality District banned bike riding for their employees while on company time. Since then they’ve updated the policy with bike safety requirements, similar to the Carbon Trust’s move.
Also in 2007, a “green” engineering firm also banned bike riding for their UK employees. Jacobs Engineering told employees in a memo “reason for this policy is to protect our employees from other vehicles on the road.”
Breathing the air polluted by the preferred method of travel is also dangerous and perhaps should be banned. Walking has been on the endangered species watch for many years. Strong personal biases (I hear them daily spoken by educated professionals) prevent needed change. “SUVs make us safer while bicyclists endanger everyone” is a common mantra.