NEAS Staff take their bikes to "hospital"

NEAS Staff take their bikes to "hospital"

North East Ambulance Service staff were recently given the opportunity to bring their bicycles to work for a free MOT health check with the initiative looking to encourage more people to cycle to-and-from work. 

The North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with Go Smarter, a Government funded initiative who aims to promote sustainable travel in the Newcastle area. 

Clare Swift, NEAS Environmental & Sustainability Manager, said: "NEAS has been working closely with Go Smarter to help promote greener methods of travelling to work.  NEAS want to do our bit in reducing the impact on Newcastle's road network and contribute towards lowering congestion and pollution levels in the region." 

In June this year, all staff at NEAS HQ at Bernicia House on the Newburn Riverside Business Park were invited to take part in a Go Smarter travel to work survey, with the intention of helping the Trust build up a clearer picture of how people currently travel to work. 

Clare added: "The programme isn't about asking everyone to stop travelling to work by car but more to nurture the prospect of getting people to consider alternative means of travel including public transport, cycling or even walking to the office." 

One member of staff to benefit from the 'Dr Bike' event was Development Accountant, Alan Boyes.  Alan has worked for NEAS for over 15-years and currently pedals the 16-mile round trip from his Walkergate home over to Newburn. 

On an average day, Alan takes about half an hour to travel to work.  He says it is a similar duration than using public transport and not much longer than driving his car…and without the traffic jams.  Alan bought his bike through the Trust's 'salary sacrifice scheme'. 

Alan, aged 51, husband and father of one, said: "The bicycle maintenance advice was useful because keeping your bike in its best condition could ultimately one day help save your life.  Any useful tips for looking after your bike have long term benefits and makes cycling so much safer and easier."  

Alan decided to swap his car for his bicycle as part of an economy saving exercise and also as a great way of keeping in shape. He appreciates that cycling is providing him with over an hour of cardio vascular exercise each day whilst strengthening his legs and building upper body strength.  

Alan added: "Cycling has benefitted my all round fitness without putting any major pressure on my joints, which can be a problem as we get older. It has not only made my wallet healthier but has more importantly got my blood pumping around my veins!" 

Later this summer the Go Smarter team will return to NEAS to help deliver basic to commuter level cycling training as part of the partnership programme. 

You can read more about Go Smarter programmes being delivered up and down the country please click   

The photograph shows NEAS Development Accountant, Alan Boyes and Colin Charlton, Project Manager with Go Smarter during the recent Dr Bike event.


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