An RAC Foundation survey established that 25% of motorists would consider leaving their cars behind and opting for pedal power if congestion charging became a reality in UK cities. The survey found more than 28% of drivers interviewed said they would swop four wheels for two if they had to pay tolls to enter towns, while 24% said they would think about biking to work if they had to use a parking space.
Volvo said the idea behind its plan was to maximise the opportunities of choosing cycling as an alternative, whether for commuting to work or for leisure. Director of business development, John Reynolds, said: 'The new plan is a further part of our ongoing environmental improvement programme. It is all about encouraging our employees to use a bike whenever it is feasible, thus reducing car travelling and pollution and improving their health.'
Volvo's wider green transport plan has seen the average carbon dioxide emissions from the importer's UK-based fleet drop by 3% and toxic emissions drop by 9% over the last 12 months.
Volvo Car UK environmental manager John Pitts said the scheme was the latest 'green' initiative which also included giving employees 'green' driving tips, tyre pressure checks undertaken by Kwik-Fit, utilising video and audio conferencing and measuring fleet emissions and business mileage.
He said: 'Our staff live an average 20 miles from their office so biking is not feasible but some live within five miles. It was not appropriate for us to stop people using their cars but if staff use a bike for just one or two journeys a week either home to work or at weekends, that would be a contribution to reducing emissions and traffic congestion.'