Enfield Council has joined forces with local organisations in the borough to encourage staff at North Middlesex University Hospital (NMUH) to cycle to work.
Five hospital employees will begin their participation in a three-month bike loan trial in the next fortnight, where they will cycle all or part of their journey to their workplace.
The project has been established to encourage staff to achieve sustainable active travel, and to experience the health and environmental benefits of commuting to work by bike.
Londra Bisiklet Kulubu, a local Edmonton based community cycling group that the Council helped to establish in 2019, has donated the bikes for use with support from the London Cycling Campaign.
The Council is strengthening its partnership and work with NMUH, after helping them to build and establish a dedicated cycling hub within the hospital’s grounds in 2020. The hub provides free and secure bike parking for all staff.
The Council’s Healthy Streets team is helping to enable change with a wide-range of measures to encourage and enable residents to take the healthier option of cycling to work. Secure Cycle Hubs are available at Enfield Town and Edmonton Green stations.
The Healthy Streets team will support NMUH hospital staff taking part in the trial who will receive a bike, helmet, lights, lock, pannier and two cycle skills training and route planning sessions, delivered by Cycle Folk on behalf of the Council.
Following the end of the trial, the Council will continue to work with NHS staff to help them continue their cycling journey in the future, as the local authority is committed to enabling higher levels of active travel (walking and cycling).
Cllr Rick Jewell, Cabinet Member for Environment at Enfield Council, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with local organisations, to deliver such a fantastic active travel initiative for staff at North Middlesex University Hospital.
“We couldn’t offer this opportunity without the help and support of all parties involved, especially the donation of the bikes by local Edmonton based community cycling group, Londra Bisiklet Kulubu.
“I look forward to hearing how the five NHS staff selected for this trial get on during the next three months. I hope that more staff will cycle more frequently to work in the future and take advantage of the cycle storage facilities at the hospital.”
Richard Gourlay, Director of Strategic Development at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We are excited to join forces with Enfield Council and Cycle-Folk and are incredibly grateful for the generous donation from the local organisations involved.
“The scheme is one of the many ways Trust colleagues can commute in a sustainable and active way including our cycle to work scheme. It will encourage more of our staff to cycle to work which not only helps them mentally and physically but aligns with our key Patient First priorities.”
Ozgur Korkmaz, Director of Londra Bisiklet Kulubu, said: “As a community cycling club, giving back to society and helping our wonderful NHS staff to commute to work is very important. With the help of this scheme and the new cycle routes around the hospital, I hope we see more and more NHS staff enjoying the benefits of cycling.”
Adrian Day, Co-ordinator at Enfield Cycling Campaign, said: “This project is a great news for cycling in Enfield. It’s yet another example of the terrific work Ozgur and our friends at Londra Bisiklet Kulubu are doing to encourage cycling in the east of the borough.
“And with work starting on the Council’s active travel improvements in Bull Lane it’s the ideal time for staff, visitors and patients at North Middlesex University Hospital to embrace cycling.”
Meanwhile, the Council is taking a comprehensive approach to enabling change by working towards implementing a North Middlesex University Hospital Active Travel route. It will extend along Bull Lane N18 in the Upper Edmonton ward, between the A406 North Circular Road underpass and the Enfield borough boundary with Haringey.
The project builds upon the previous extension of Cycleway 1 between Park Road N18 and the A406 North Circular Road underpass at Tanners End Lane N18, which was delivered in early 2021 (‘A1010S to North Middlesex Hospital Cycle Route’ project).
This route will provide a continuation of Cycleway 1 and a future connection with Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1) in Haringey.
The works are currently in progress and are due to be completed in September 2022.
For further information about the North Middlesex University Hospital Active Travel Improvements project visit: https://letstalk.enfield.gov.uk/nmh-ati
The Council is exploring ways to expand the bike loan scheme after the pilot ends at North Middlesex University Hospital. If other local organisations in Enfield are interested in taking part in a similar scheme, they can register their interest by email: [email protected]