Organisations in Derby have come together to help key workers onto their bikes for essential journeys. Key workers and volunteers living or working in Derby have received help under the schemes set up as a response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The support available included 120 free reconditioned bikes for key workers thanks to cycling charities Wheels to Work and Life Cycle Derby, who have received donations of bikes from city residents and as part of their projects. For those wanted to try cycling, or looked for a temporary solution, an option to borrow a bike from Cycle Derby was available, with bike locks and lights provided by Sustrans, the charity that’s making it easier for people to walk and cycle.
Sustrans, are on hand to help keyworkers and employers identify travel needs. They’ll use journey information to create personalised travel plans for key workers which identify the best routes for their commute and are especially useful for new cyclists. Organisational travel plans are being created for businesses so they can show staff the travel options to their site as workforces return.
Life Cycle UK and Sustrans have been working together to provide a little TLC to unloved bikes lurking in dark sheds! They’ve offered 100 free Silver Services for repairs up to £80 helping key workers to get back in the saddle – safe in the knowledge their bike has been serviced by a trained mechanic.
Sustrans are also supporting Derby City Council with their sustainable travel grant offer for businesses and community groups. They want to help community groups and workplaces in the city to secure, and make the best use of the grants. In the past these grants have supported projects such as new cycle parking, pool bikes and showers. In the midst of the current crisis they could be used for practical solutions, such as electric Cargo bikes to move food parcels around the city, and be especially useful as businesses start the transition back to normal working life helping their staff commute by active travel with new facilities.
Commenting on the project, Wayne Brewin, Sustrans Delivery Coordinator, Midlands & East, said:
“Sustrans has an established history of delivering travel support and cycle services in Derby. This includes the Sustrans Access projects offering travel support to jobseekers and Personalised Travel Plans to Workplaces in the city. So we’re really pleased we’ve been able to use our expertise in travel planning and engagement to help support those people who are working hard looking after all of us. The project is a great example of local charities and the City Council coming together to play their part in fighting Covid-19. Key workers need to travel safely and healthily to work and it’s great that we’ve been able to play a part in this support coming together so quickly.”
Jon Hughes, Life Cycle UK Derby Manager, said:
“Life Cycle UK are proud to be able to support Derby’s Key Workers and communities through these projects, and we know the bikes that are being repaired and given away are making a huge difference in allowing people to travel safely to their critical roles now and over the next few months. By working in partnerships with other charities there is a great package of support available in the City.”
Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader at Derby City Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation said:
“I’d like to thank everyone involved for this really positive project to support key workers to give them the option to get cycling. We’re already a well established cycling city with cycle lanes and infrastructure on many routes, but we are planning to do so much more to encourage a shift from four wheels to two. ”He added: “In these difficult times it’s also a great way to help with the efforts we are all making to fight Covid-19 and clean air. Ultimately, projects like this are a great way for us to truly establish cycling as the transport choice for many workers.”
Sustrans has also set up an online mapping system which directs key workers to help with cycling in their area. Please visit www.sustrans.org.uk/keyworkers for more information about this project.