Microsoft backs new London Cycle Superhighway plans

microsoft-logo-featuredMicrosoft employs 2200 people in London across five different sites. The software giant has offices for Skype, Yammer, Nokia and Bing in the capital. Three of their locations lie near the proposed Cycle Superhighways.

The CEO of Microsoft UK, Michel Van Der Bel, sent a letter (PDF) to TfL explaining why the Cycle Superhighway plans will be good for Microsoft and good for London:

michel-van-der-belAs the CEO of Microsoft UK, I am pleased to offer our support for the proposed East–West and North–South Cycle Superhighways.

Microsoft is the world’s largest software company with operations in over 100 countries. We employ 110,000 people worldwide, with 2200 of them based in London. We have five sites in the city including offices near Paddington Station, in Cardinal Place at Victoria Station, and in the historic Prudential Assurance building at Holborn Circus. All three of these lie close to the proposed routes.

More and more of our employees are choosing to get to work on their bikes. We encourage this with lockers, showers, secure cycle parking and a Cycle to Work scheme. Over 100 of our people regularly cycle into work. We know that others would choose to do so and gain the health benefits of active commuting if they felt comfortable on the roads. As it stands, too many of those who commute by bike today have had close calls where cycles and motor traffic mix. We want the commutes of all our staff to be comfortable and safe and the Cycle Superhighways will be a big step toward that goal.

Our network of offices in the capital will be knitted together by the Cycle Superhighways, and our employees will benefit considerably once they are completed. We look forward to using the protected routes to help us attract and retain the people we need to continue to thrive. Other cities that have invested in segregated cycling infrastructure have seen dramatic increases in cycling and reductions in injuries as a consequence. We want to see the same benefits here in London.

We anticipate that construction of the Cycle Superhighways will cause short-term disruption for those using the route. As with all road projects, TfL should communicate what changes will be made in advance so that businesses can prepare and adapt.

The Cycle Superhighways are a vital step toward a safer and healthier city. Please make sure they are delivered without delay.

Yours faithfully,

Michel Van Der Bel
CEO, Microsoft Ltd