Setting up a Pool Bike Scheme

Why set up a Pool Bike Scheme?

Pool bike
A pool bike scheme is an excellent way to reduce local car journeys amongst your employees. To set up a scheme, the workplace provides bikes and safety equipment for employees to use free of charge on business journeys, such as travelling to local meetings, between offices or for site visits. Many employers also allow staff the use of the bikes for leisure use, particularly for staff who wish to use the bikes at lunchtimes. Having a Pool Bike scheme also provides the following benefits:

  • Reduced travel expenses for workplaces (companies have reported savings of between £25-£80 per bike, per month)
  • Improved accessibility (allows employee to travel door to door)
  • Help to ease parking problems for staff
  • Health and fitness benefits for staff
  • Often results in reduced travel time for staff
  • Reduced local congestion
  • Demonstrates corporate social responsibility

What this toolkit offers

This toolkit offers step-by-step information on getting the most from your pool bikes including:

It is vital to ensure you offer the right bikes for your staff to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Important points to consider are:

  • What will your staff use the bikes for?
  • Is it worth getting a range of different types of bike?
  • Provide a range of sizes to suit all staff
  • Ensure the bikes you choose are easily adaptable – quick release seat post clamps are essential!
  • Hybrid bikes blending characteristics of road, touring and mountain bikes are the most versatile type and are a good choice for general purpose bikes.
  • Consider including an electric bike, to assist those that are less mobile or fit, for longer or hillier journeys, or when needing to carry equipment

It is essential that someone within your organisation has responsibility for your pool bikes, but don’t worry, this doesn’t mean they have to run the admin or the bike maintenance! You can run your scheme using an online booking system and set up a maintenance contract with a local provider to keep the bikes regularly serviced. However, it is still essential to have someone who is responsible for checking the bikes & equipment regularly (once a week ideally), in order to report any problems.

The ideal system to use is where your pool bikes are covered by a maintenance contract with a local bike shop. This way, the bikes are regularly serviced and you have someone to call when a fault is reported. It is still essential for the person designated with overall responsibility to check them regularly, but they don’t need to be the ones getting their hands dirty!

It is essential that your pool bikes come with some standard equipment, but you may also like to consider some other options that will be useful for your employees. Bear in mind that not all the equipment will be needed all of the time, and not necessarily when cycling.


EssentialDesirableOptional
HelmetPanniers / rucksackTrailer
LockHigh vis jacket / beltTrack pump
LightsTrouser clips / snapbandWaterproof jacket and trousers
BellPump and puncture repair kit
Cycle mapEmergency contact number (taxi number)

The bikes will need to be securely stored, as will the accessories and safety equipment. This all needs to be in a centrally located position, to ensure it is easy for staff to access. You may want to think about putting a sign on the storage, to act as an extra advertising tool.

This is the easiest part of your pool bike scheme but probably the most important as if your staff don’t know the bikes are there for them to use, they won’t use them! How to promote your pool bikes:

  • Display posters
  • Add information to your staff web pages relating to business travel)
  • Include reference to the pool bikes in new staff induction packs
  • Inform line managers to make the information available to their staff

The final thing to do is to support your staff to use the bikes:

  • Ensure the information on your web pages includes links to cycle maps and the availability of cycle training – see Cycling in Cheshire East for more details.
  • Keep a stock of cycle maps, cycle training information and other useful publications and make them available to staff in a central location.

Guidance in this document has been taken from the Active Travel Workplace Toolkit, developed by Sustrans in partnership with the Sports Council for Wales.