The car dependency culture is taking its toll on our health and that of our children, not only because of pollution levels which exacerbate lung disease but also contribute to an increase in overweight and obese children who are denied regular daily exercise.
The recommended 'daily dose' of activity is 20-30 minutes. This level of activity is known to reduce stress, boost the immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease. So by undertaking some of these shorter journeys by bike or on foot, not only are you 'doing your bit' for the environment, you are helping yourself and your children, to get fitter and save money as well as giving the car a rest!
What Dudley Council is doing
- Implementing cycle routes e.g. Stourbridge to Kingswinford (see related documents below)
- Regular cycle forum meetings to develop ideas/information from cyclists.
- Working with schools to make walking and cycling safer.
- Implementing new Pelican & Toucan crossing facilities.
- Developing an active travel strategy to promote walking and cycling across the borough
- Encouraging schools and businesses to develop their own Travel Plan to encourage cycling by providing facilities such as showers and secure bike parking
Ideas for employers
Cycling is environmentally friendly and provides staff with regular exercise thus helping to reduce stress. Storing cycles takes up less space than car parking.
- negotiate with local bike shops for discounts on bicycles and accessories for your staff
- offer low or interest free bicycle loans
- offer a bike promotion scheme for employees who give up their parking space
- provide pool bikes for local site visits or meetings
- install bicycle facilities such as cycle sheds, stands, lockers, showers and provide spare waterproof clothing
- establish a bicycle user group to help "spread the word"
offer staff cycle training
- introduce a bike buddies scheme to pair regular cyclists with the willing but less experienced
- pay a cycle mileage allowance for work related journeys