Our Ride To Work Day survey of workplace motorcycle parking provision has revealed some interesting evidence.
The first factor to bear in mind in any survey is who responded. Our responses were more heavily weighted towards employees who do choose to ride to work, and 76% of our respondents said that they regularly ride to work. This shows our respondents are not representative of the entire working population – but wouldn’t it be great if it was!
Attitudes towards commuting by motorcycle
Interestingly, when we look at the proportions, filtered for the employers’ attitude toward motorcycling as a commuter choice, there is a clear signal showing that a negative view held by the employer suppresses motorcycle commuting by around 5%.
The clearest manifestation of a negative boss is the lack of provision of dedicated workplace motorcycle parking. Where employers are perceived as having a negative attitude only 25% provide motorcycle parking as opposed to 83% of those who are positive toward the transport choice. The fact that only 83% of employers who are positive about motorcycling provide motorcycle parking is a little disappointing though.
It is good to see that whilst 50% of employers appear neutral on the subject only 15% are negative whilst 36% fall in the positive camp. It appears that only 4% actively discourage motorcycling while 6% actively encourage it. Bear in mind that these are subjective opinions of the employees, not the employers.
Facts: are workplace parking lots meeting riders needs?
Now let’s get down to the facts as opposed to opinions.
Where an employer provides car parking facilities, only 54% provide motorcycle bays. This compares to 67% providing pedal cycle parking. Clearly, we have an overall picture of motorcycle parking being under-provided. This does not come as a surprise and is why we are focusing on this topic. We need more motorcycle parking in workplace parking provision.
Once we have provision, the question becomes about the quality of that provision. We only consider the basics of security and storage for riding kit in this survey.
Firstly, security. Only 41% of respondents who said they had access to motorcycle bays said that there were security devices. Of those, 15% had ground anchors, 31% had rails, 10% had CCTV, 5% on site manned security and 38% responded as ‘other’ which included combinations of the above, gated compounds and even fob entry cages. Interestingly the captured chain option seems to have been entirely absent.
Secondly, storage. We have filtered the responses to those that do have motorcycle parking bays. In response to the question ‘do you have dedicated storage at your workplace for crash helmet and riding gear storage?’ a rather disappointing 72% answered “No”.
Our survey was not enormous (we had 191 respondents) and of course on-site inspections are far beyond the survey’s scope, but there are some clear conclusions we can draw.
A minority (though not insignificant number) of employers are perceived to have a negative attitude towards promoting motorcycles as a commuting choice. This would seem to suppress the numbers taking up the congestion busting and environmentally conscious work travel choice. It is disappointing to see this. But, it is also good to see that a larger proportion do seem to recognise the benefits.
The provision of motorcycle bays certainly is an area where opportunities for improvement exist. Clear standouts are the need to strengthen the security provision and for consideration of the storage needs of employees who do ride to work. Having to leave a crash helmet on your desk and other riding gear draped on the back of your chair, or stuffed untidily in a corner is unhelpful for both employee and employer.
The captured chain systems with integrated lockers are certainly an option that we would encourage employers to consider. Please take a look at the employer’s guide to motorcycle parking and watch the short supporting video. If we can improve motorcycle parking at the workplace the benefits can be enjoyed by everyone.