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House of Commons Staff (Sustainable Travel)

Volume 482: debated on Wednesday 5 November 2008

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what steps the Commission takes to encourage House of Commons staff to adopt sustainable travel to work options. (232750)

The Commission and the Management Board are committed to increasing environmental sustainability in the services the House Service delivers and in the way they operate. There are a number of initiatives which encourage staff to adopt sustainable travel to work options:

Transport loans—available to permanent and fixed-term employees with more than two months’ service. Loans are available for either a season ticket to cover journeys to and from work by public transport and/or a bicycle for travel to and from work. In the last financial year there were 345 season ticket loans and seven bicycle loans.

The House encourages cycling to work by providing a range of facilities across the Estate for bicycle storage and shower facilities for cyclists and others. There are currently 175 bicycle parking spaces on the House of Commons estate. Of these spaces, 36 have been added since 2007; 12 in Norman Shaw North inner courtyard and 24 in Canon Row.

Following discussions with the parliamentary authorities, Westminster city council has provided 46 additional on-street bicycle parking spaces on Millbank and six on Victoria Embankment just north of Portcullis House since 2007.

There will be a significant amount of work in the coming months to develop an environmental strategy for the House, and there is scope to develop a sustainable travel to work policy as part of that wider strategy.