Barts Health NHS Trust and Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) have teamed up with cycling charity Sustrans to help their staff save money on their commute to work and reduce the health sector’s carbon footprint.
It is estimated that staff at Barts Health and BHRUT can save as much as £3,000 per year if they were to swap driving to work for cycling instead, according to the Government’s Cyclescheme.
Sustrans, who are the custodians of the National Cycle Network, intend to mobilise the project across sites in Waltham Forest, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, Havering and the City of London.
Barts Health staff surveys indicate that anywhere between 69% and 84.5% of employees could walk, cycle or use public transport when getting to work, whilst 40% of BHRUT staff could cycle to work with 10% expressing initial interest in cycling to work if there was a training course deployed to build confidence.
Not only could this benefit the 16,000 members of staff across the two trusts, it could also improve the patient experience too. Patients with multiple appointments could now have them rescheduled for the same day, and with approximately 3.5% of all road traffic in England relating to NHS patients, visitors or staff, this will cut the amount of trips to and from hospital, further reducing the NHS’s carbon footprint.
Rob Speight, Director of Estates and Facilities for Barts Health NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to work with Sustrans to bring their expertise and dynamism to engage with our staff and patients to help transfer to more active and healthy forms of travel.
“There are so many positive benefits of ditching the car and using alternative, more active forms of travel to our hospitals, and Sustrans will help deliver that message to our staff through a series of practical initiatives to help.”
Participating in the scheme are the following hospitals:
- Whipps Cross Hospital
- Mile End Hospital
- St Bartholomew's Hospital
- Newham Hospital
- The Royal London Hospital
- Queen’s Hospital
- King George Hospital
- Churchill Place, Canary Wharf
- Barkantine Birth Centre
James Cleeton, Sustrans' London Director, said: “Amid inflation and the cost of living crisis, it’s great that we’ll be helping our NHS heroes save money while cutting the trust’s carbon footprint. London’s car-congested roads contribute to some of the worst air quality in the country, and we all need to play our part in addressing this.”
The initiative will involve everything from cycle workshops and personalised active travel commute options, all the way to car sharing opportunities and a forum just for proposing potential cycle routes.