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Thursday, 23 August 2012

Liverpool Hospital encourages staff to cycle to work rather than drive

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(above) Marie Tritsaris from Media and Communications at Liverpool Hospital - winner of a commuter bike through the hospital.

To encourage its staff to cycle to work, Liverpool Hospital in partnership with AustCycle and the Office of Environment and Heritage, will be running free cycling skills courses during August.

There are four courses available to help staff improve cycling skills, including Level 1 – Learn to Ride, Level 2 – Back on Your Bike, Level 3 – Commute by Bike and Level 4 – Bike Maintenance.

Fifteen participants have already signed up for the lessons, which will be run by accredited AustCycle Teachers Radmila Avramovic and Donna Meehan.

Participants will be taught cycling skills, and will also be given a free show bag, which includes a map of local bike paths, a bike light and a 10% discount from ABC Bikes.

The decision to tackle transport modes within the hospital came in response to a $390 million re-development that will take place on site in the next few years.

As a result of this re-development, numbers of full-time staff is expected to grow from 3030 in 2006 to 4820 in 2016, which is a 59-precent increase.

Increased traffic in and around the hospital would result from the extra staff, visitors and patients, and a significantly different transport profile needed to be created.

To do this, the Health Promotion Service and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts, with the support of the Liverpool Hospital Sustainability Taskforce, developed the ‘Liverpool Hospital Travel Plan’.

The three-year plan will be in action until 2014, and will hopefully reduce the amount of people that drive to work alone.

Of the current staff, 49% live within 10kms of the hospital, but only 3.7% use an active mode of transport such as cycling or walking. Instead, 74.3% drive alone to work and 9.7% use the bus or train.

A survey conducted by the hospital discovered that 36.1% of staff owned bikes, which was in high contrast to the 1.4% of people who actually used cycling as a mode of transport. From this discovery it became apparent that cycling was an area with the potential to significantly improve.

The hospital has invested in additional bike stands, new bikes lanes with high visibility green paint, improved marking of on-road bike lanes, and the installation of 40 new lockers in both the men’s and women’s change rooms. 

If you would like to run a similar program within your workplace, or you want to get back on a bike, contact AustCycle today on info@austcycle.com.au

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