Lancaster University

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Staff get on their bikes

10/10/2006 15:33:23

Staff at the Department for Continuing Education with their bike
Staff at the Department for Continuing Education with their bike

Staff at Lancaster University got on their bikes as part of an initiative to encourage cycling to work.

60% of staff at the Department of Continuing Education (DCE) left their cars at home one day last month. This was the best performance in Lancaster City Council’s Workplace Sustainable Travel Challenge, which encouraged people to use public transport or cycle to work for one day. Their reward was a free bike which will be used by members of the DCE.

Director of Continuing Education Professor Keith Percy said: “I was very impressed by my colleagues’ efforts to find alternative means of transport. Some people travelled quite long distances to get to work by public transport or on their bicycles. We run a large number of summer schools, many based at the opposite end of campus from our offices and so I think my colleagues will find the bike useful for travelling across campus. Some colleagues plan to enjoy lunchtime cycle rides.”

Jonathan Sear, the University's Travel Plan Co-ordinator, said: "DCE did fantastically with 60% of staff leaving their cars at home. If others could match that most of our congestion and parking problems would disappear overnight." Of the 20 members of staff who were at work on the day, 12 came in to work by either bus or bike.

Rose Welshman, Marketing Assistant and Green co-ordinator in DCE said: "We’re thrilled about winning the bike and hope that it will be used not only by members of staff to get to and from work but will also be useful during the day. The event generated a lot of discussion about how we travel to work and the health and environmental benefits of trying to use our cars a bit less, not to mention the pleasure of not driving every day!”

Dr Kathy Doncaster cycles 10 miles from Caton four days a week. “It’s a good way of starting the day, very invigorating, and it helps me to unwind on the way home.”

Marketing Assistant Fiona Hagart said: “I cycle four times a week because it’s good exercise and wakes you up in the morning and it’s quicker than driving.”

Secretary Maggie Dixon said: “I cycle every morning from Bare in Morecambe. I miss all the traffic because it’s really congested. I drove one day when it was tipping it down and it took me longer than it did cycling – almost three quarters of an hour instead of only half an hour.”