An engineering services company in the UK that advises sustainable transportation projects has banned staff from cycling to work because it's too dangerous. It has told staff at its 36 offices across Britain that they must drive or use public transport. They can use bicycles only if they are working away from roads, such as on canal towpaths.
Jacobs Engineering (nee Jacobs Babtie) is one or the largest engineering services company in the UK. An email sent to their staff from the company's health and safety manager says, "It’s patently obvious that if you are struck by a wayward vehicle when you are on a bicycle or motorbike you are going to be more severely affected than if you were in a car. The reason for this policy is to protect our employees from other vehicles on the road."
The ban on cycling on company business has infuriated several staff, who have been cycling without any serious safety incidents for years. They believe the ban is partly the result of conditions in the company’s insurance policy. The e-mail acknowledges that staff are unhappy about the ban and admits it “could be construed as being at odds with our environmental policy and the requirement to be environmentally responsible”.
Jacobs Babtie highlights their "impressive track record in the rapidly developing field of sustainable transport" on their website, claiming "in the area of cycling, we can offer expert resources at every stage from cycle policy and promotion through to the detailed design and implementation of cycle schemes." Many local governments and organizations in the UK contract with Jacobs Engineering for their cycling promotion "expertise."
Via Commute By Bike. Mention and commentary also at Cycling Edingurgh and Curly's Corner Shop.