Hospital staff urged to get on their bikes

North Middlesex Hospital cycle trial leaders
Picture (from left) are Mike McSherry from London Cycling Campaign; Richard Gourlay, director of strategic development at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust; Rick Jewell, the council’s cabinet member for environment; Ozgur Korkmaz, director of Londra Bisiklet Kulubu; and Adrian Day, co-ordinator at Enfield Cycling Campaign

Staff at North Middlesex University Hospital are being given extra incentives to cycle to work, with free bikes being offered for use in a new trial.

Five hospital employees are taking part in a three-month bike loan trial, where they will cycle all or part of their journey to their workplace. The project aims to encourage staff to travel to work sustainably and experience the health and environmental benefits of commuting to work by bike.

Londra Bisiklet Kulubu, an Edmonton-based community cycling group that Enfield Council helped establish in 2019, has donated the bikes for use with support from London Cycling Campaign.

The council’s healthy streets team will support hospital staff taking part in the trial, providing them with bikes, helmets, lights, locks, panniers and two cycle skills training and route-planning sessions, delivered by support group Cycle Folk on behalf of the council.

A cycle hub was previously opened by the council at North Mid in 2020, providing staff with free and secure bike parking.

Rick Jewell, the council’s cabinet member for environment, 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.

“We couldn’t offer this opportunity without the help and support of all parties involved, especially the donation of bikes by Londra Bisiklet Kulubu.

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“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.”

Richard Gourlay, director of strategic development at the NHS Trust which runs the hospital, 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.”

Meanwhile, construction has begun on the council’s £1.25million ‘active travel’ scheme on roads surrounding the hospital. It will see the installation of a bus gate, two modal filters and a segregated cycle lane connecting the hospital to the C1 cycleway, plus new zebra crossings. The scheme is due to be completed in September.

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.”

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