My employer in Sheffield has been invited to take part in Sheffield Bike Boost 2012. It involves a partnership between Sheffield Council, Bike Boost and local employers to help increase the number of people cycling to work by giving employees the chance to try out cycling to work with no commitment.
Each person will be given 121 cycle training, maintenance advice and will be loaned a bicycle with tools, lights and panniers for 4 weeks.There is an optional purchase of the gear at the end of the 4 weeks.
From the Bike Boost website:
This is a great opportunity for you to give cycling a go for four weeks. Employees of Plusnet are getting the chance to borrow a bike for almost a month. This is a FREE loan of a bike and all the relevant equipment, so that you can take up the challenge of cycling to work two or three days a week, (or as many as you can manage!).
3. How will you make this easy for me?
3.1 Provision of a bike
3.2 Provision of bike ‘accessories’
3.3 Route planning advice
3.4 Cycling safely – advice and training
3.5 Maintenance support
3.6 Website Support
There are three local schemes in 2012, Dundee, Fife and Sheffield. In Sheffield the project will rotate around large employers over the summer months (Plusnet and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals have signed up so far) and will probably be available to about 50 employees of each organisation.
Cycle training and Cycle Maintenance will be provided by Pedal Ready and as an existing scheme is already available for free to anyone working/living in Sheffield. Pedal Ready do great work in Sheffield, providing advice and training to anyone who needs it in Sheffield on an individual basis, they’ve been featured in the Guardian, I’ve put the slide-show/interview below.
We have between 5 and 10 cyclists at Plusnet, we have about 50 participants in this scheme, I’ll be checking the number of cyclists over the summer to see how effective this project is. I’m hopeful that a good proportion of the people taking part will continue to cycle. At the very least, I’m convinced that these participants will gain a new understanding of cycling and will become more considerate road users as a result. I wonder if people will be more likely to cycle once we establish a critical mass of cyclists?
Sheffield Council estimate that about 70% of participants continue to cycle after the scheme has finished.
6.5 Bike Boost is a project delivered by Get Cycling, a York-based Community interest Company. The scheme offers employees free use of a bike and equipment for a month along with a comprehensive support programme before during and after the loan aimed at breaking down perceived barriers to cycling and offering guidance and encouragement over 3-4 weeks. It has been shown that the rate of participants who continue to cycle to work independent after the two month period has finished of the scheme is around 70%.
Well done Sheffield Council for funding this!