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Full fry up with all the trimmings, or quick cereal bar on the way out the door? Relaxing read at the newspaper whilst sipping a freshly brewed latte or a quick slurp of tea while kids ready for school? We all have different morning routines. One thing most of us have in common is at some point we have to make our way into work.

Edinburgh Lawyer For some of us that involves hopping in the car, for others it involves a long bus ride. The brave few choose to get their exercise and cycle through the urban jungle. In recent blogs we have been exploring the dangers employees face commuting to and from work.

Cycling is the most environmentally friendly and healthy way to commute. It is also shown to reduce the risk of premature death by 40%. Who knew exercise is good for you! However, whilst cycling along a lonely country road may be idyllic our cities are simply not set up for it. It doesn’t take a team of experienced city planners undertaking in depth risk assessments to come to the view that it isn’t a great idea to have cyclists, the most vulnerable road users, in the same lane as 12 tonne busses. Over 3,500 people were killed or seriously injured cycling last year. Whilst cycling may reduce cardiac diseases and other health risks it poses its own dangers. Should employees face such risks to earn their living?

We have blogged previously about how the city of Edinburgh could be improved to make things safer for all road users. Imagine if every city in the UK planned properly for cyclists? Impossible? Imagine if cyclists had their own dedicated lane, raised off the road. You don’t need to imagine, just buy a cheap flight to Copenhagen or one of the numerous European cities that take safety seriously.

Employers are promoting cycle to work schemes. However, they should do more than just loan employees money to buy a bike. They should take responsibility for the safety of their employees. They should provide proper changing facilities to allow cyclists and motorcyclist to change. Without proper facilities employees are more likely to commute without proper safety gear. Further some employees will cycle in and then have to work later than expected. Employers should have somewhere their bikes can be stored overnight rather than encourage them to cycle home in the dark without the proper equipment to do so safely. Ultimately, employers need to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

No one should be killed getting to or from work. There is a significant amount more that both employers and local authorities could do to ensure it does not happen.

Blog by Alan Calderwood.

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