Maltings workers adopt pedal power

NEARLY 40 staff at Suffolk-based maltster and malted Ingredient company Muntons have switched to pedal power for their journey to work and back, in a move to get fit, save money and, help the environment.

A total of 20 workers from the Muntons plant at Stowmarket, another seven at the company’s Bridlington maltings in Yorkshire, have taken advantage of the Government-sponsored “bike to work” scheme and purchased new bicycles worth up to �1,000 each with the payments being spread over 12 months and free of Income Tax

When the scheme was introduced last year, Muntons initially saw 12 employees take up the offer and switch from the car to a bike.

The feedback was so encouraging that the company decided to run the scheme again this year and – with the increase in fuel prices perhaps a factor – was staggered by the response. It means that a total of 39 staff have taken up the cycle-to-work challenge since it was first offered.

Muntons estimate that the move to cycle power by the 27 new recruits to the scheme will reduce car journeys to work and back by around 31,000 miles each year, reducing vehicle emissions by more than 4.5 tonnes of carbon each year.

The workers have invested more than �15,000 in bicycles, purchased from local specialists Elmy Cycles in Ipswich and Cyclelife, Bridlington, at an average of �575 per bike.

Muntons has erected a purpose built cycle shed to securely house these new cycles whilst employees are at work. Each member of staff will save an average of more than �500 in car running costs every year by moving over to pedal power, as well as getting at the same time. With the environmental benefits added in, the company descrbes the schemes as “a win, win, win”.

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Alan Ridealgh, managing director of Muntons, said: “We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and were delighted with the positive response to this initiative.

“Not only does this have environmental benefits but we have a fitter workforce too.”