Birmingham employers who have taken the wise move of encouraging cycling were rewarded for for their efforts and shared their experiences at a Sustrans and Bike North Birmingham awards ceremony today.
The Top Cycle Location Awards took place at a special breakfast event at the city's Central Library. Top Cycle Location status is awarded to workplaces in recognition of their dedication to making it easier for staff to travel on two wheels and the award scheme is a partnership between Sustrans and Birmingham City Council's Bike North Birmingham project.
Yvonne Gilligan, Regional Director of Sustrans in the West Midlands, said: “We have been really impressed at the commitment of employers locally who have engaged in the Bike North Birmingham workplace programme and continue to encourage their staff to cycle to work. It’s a fact that supporting cycling makes good business sense and a healthy workforce is a happy and productive one.”
This year four awards were handed out and some of the employers were happy to share their stories of involvement with Sustrans and Bike North Birmingham (BNB).
Adam Holder, Transport Manager at Star Cars & Coaches Limited, explained: “The impact the scheme has had at Star Cars is significant. The provision of a cycle shelter, Dr Bike sessions, cycle training and led-rides has given our staff the broadest of platforms from which to access the life-changing benefits that cycling regularly brings. The fact that 16 members of staff have taken advantage of the 'Loan Bike’ scheme tells its own story and I’m sure the positive effects of the scheme will be felt at Star Cars & Coaches for many years to come.”
The impact of staff cycling in the workplace was also emphasised by teaching assistant Rebecca Lonergan from Abbey Catholic Primary School, who said: “Since our involvement with Bike North Birmingham and Sustrans began, four members of staff have been trained as Active Travel Champions, to ensure that the scheme is sustainable and is being cascaded down within school and to parents as well.”
Neil Bailey, Cash and Credit Manager at Hozelock Ltd, said; “Bike North Birmingham has exceeded all of our expectations. The profile of cycling and its benefits within business is far greater than we thought possible and the support and assistance has been key. We now have a much better cycle shelter, our staff have been trained to lead others on cycle rides, although some staff members who had previously never thought about cycling now are happy enough to go out in their own groups. We have also had maintenance courses giving people the ability to look after their own bikes on the road or at home.”
Richard Trevor, Head of Establishment at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), Sutton Coldfield, said: “I am delighted to see DIO named as a Top Cycle Location award and David Stainsby recognised as an Active Travel Champion for his work in supporting this excellent initiative. As an organisation we are keen to encourage our people in healthy and sustainable choices where we can and I know this scheme has proved extremely popular.”
Pictured are, left to right, back row, Alex Bamford, BNB, Yvonne Gilligan and Phil Northall of Sustrans and Peter Edwards, BNB. Front Row, David Stainsby of DIO, Lucy Ford from Hozelock, Jackie Callam of Star Cars and Coaches and Rebecca Lonergan from Abbey Primary School.