Teaming up with the university and hospital to encourage staff to cycle to work
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Hampshire County Council, the University of Winchester and the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have teamed up to encourage more employees to cycle to work.
From 21 May to 28 June, they will be running a 'Try Cycling to Work' promotion in a bid to get people out of their cars and on their bikes. The County Council's cycling champion, Cllr Andrew Gibson recently joined Justin Ridgment, Winchester University's Director of Campus and Conference Facilities, both keen and active cyclists, to encourage staff to sign up to the scheme.
Councillor Gibson commented: "Over the years more and more people have become reliant on cars to travel around, particularly for getting to work. Aside from the obvious health benefits to be gained from cycling, there are financial benefits too, particularly when you consider how the cost of fuel is rising significantly. I would urge everyone to give it a try. The more people that cycle to work, the less traffic there will be in our towns and, in turn, congestion will be reduced."
Justin Ridgment added: "The University fully supports the 'Try Cycling to Work' challenge as it offers participants the chance to borrow a bike and equipment and receive cycle training and maintenance support. Winchester is a compact city, so we are finding that cycling is becoming a more and more popular way for both staff and students to get around whilst helping to reduce carbon emissions too."
'Try Cycling to Work' is one of the first initiatives to be put into action by the County Council as part of the 'Hampshire Sustainable Transport Towns' project which is a package of initiatives being delivered over the next three years using £4.1 million of funding from the Department for Transport (DfT).
The project aims to achieve a 10 per cent increase in the use of sustainable transport in six towns - Winchester, Aldershot, Andover, Basingstoke, Farnborough and Fleet. It will focus on five themes:
- to support the local economy and improve the vitality of town centres;
- reduce carbon emissions;
- help people consider other ways to travel;
- improve travel information
- provide healthy and sustainable travel to train stations.
Other initiatives planned include improved pedestrian and cycle links, travel planning support for businesses and households, improved cycle parking, cycle training for adults and families and a programme of organised accompanied cycle rides - starting in Winchester later this spring.
Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is joining the scheme initially at its Royal Hampshire County Hospital site but hopes to roll it out to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital at a later date.