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Why we love cycling

  • Brian Golding – Director of Estates and Facilities

The Council have introduced a Park and Pedal scheme at York’s Park and Ride sites which allows drivers to park for free and carry on their commute by bike.

I travel up from Selby most days, and have been using the McArthur Glen park and ride site. I can get my bike in the car, but otherwise could use a bike carrier. The council also provide secure lockers at the sites which can be hired, if you don’t want to carry the bike around. 

The benefits are fantastic – I get 20 minutes of exercise at both ends of the working day, arriving full of energy and unwinding on the cycle back. With a busy work and home life it’s great to be able to get regular exercise without having to find some spare time. 

The journey from the Park and Ride site to the hospital is faster by bike during the rush hour – I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to glide past the queuing traffic on the A19, and there are some great cycle lane features along the route that let you dodge some of the traffic lights.

Sustainable development is really important to the Trust, and with the recent announcements about clean air, the chance to commute into the city centre with zero emissions is brilliant. I’m saving money too – I switched to pay and display for my parking, and so am saving £2.00 every day I cycle, plus using less fuel by avoiding the city centre commute.

I don’t do it every day, as sometimes I need the car for meetings – but the Trust hasa range of travel options that mean you can get hold of car when you need one, and so don’t need to bring your own onto site.

The only down side is that if I’m cutting things fine in the morning, then I arrive at some meetings a little bit hot – apologies to those I’ve inflicted this on! So it’s quicker, gives you back some of the time you use for exercise, reduces pollution in the city centre, is cheaper and it’s fun!

What are you waiting for…

Click here to find out more Park and Pedal

  • Dan Braidley - Travel Planning Co-ordinator

I started cycling two years ago.  This was due to changing jobs – from where I live I could either walk to my office in about an hour, get the bus or start cycling and get there in 15 minutes.  I chose the last option and am glad I made that decision.

There was an initial expense to buy a bike and some kit, but that wasn’t a huge amount (there are plenty of options on the market).  I hadn’t owned a bike for over 15 years, and whilst I hadn’t forgotten how to ride a bike, it had been long enough that I was a bit apprehensive about riding through some of the busier roads and roundabouts in York.  I did an urban cycle skills session with City of York Council which really helped, something I’d recommend to anyone in considering taking up cycling again.

I now cycle to work at least three says a week. It’s a good way to keep fit, wakes me up on a morning, is good for the environment and has saved me a fortune in bus fares! It also amazes me how fast I can get from ‘A to B’ on my bike – you soon learn that there are lots of safe cycle routes throughout York that ensure you can get around quickly and safely.  I work at the hospital at least one day a week and it’s an ideal destination for cyclists – some of the major cycle paths in York converge on the site, plus the terrain is nice and flat!

Click here to find out more about City of York Council's cycle skills training

  • Sharon Warters – Healthcare Assistant, Day Unit

I use my cycle a lot. I cycle to work because it is quicker, cheaper and keeps you fit – and wakes you up before your working day begins! 

Other benefits are that you burn more calories so you can eat a lot more to keep your energy levels up.

  • Ian Willis, Head of Procurement

I started to cycle as I was fed up with waiting for the bus.  I appreciate apps are available monitoring bus times, but there’s something quite nice knowing I’m using my body energy to get me to work and it’s a great time to think about the day ahead or the day just gone. 

I’ve cycled to work for about 10 years and I really wouldn’t choose any other method to get me to work (even in the rain or during winter). I only have a relatively short cycle, about 3.5 miles, and it takes 20 minutes. The bonus I think is that I don’t have to worry about finding change for a meter or getting stressed having to find a parking space.

  • Catherine Butler – Diabetes Nurse

I had been struggling for some time with parking anywhere close to the hospital.  My journey was becoming increasingly stressful.  If I couldn’t park my car straight away, at say a 15-20 min walking distance, I might spend an extra 10 minutes finding a different space which would then make me late.  I felt guilty parking outside residents’ homes, and heard of numerous stories of cars being vandalised. 

Cycling did not seem like an immediate solution.  I live in a small village well outside York, and the bus service is limited.  A colleague then suggested that a park and ride may work. I wrongly assumed that the park and ride would necessitate using a bus which would not be possible when taking into consideration, the time I start work, and when pre-school care opened its doors and then a walk from the bus stop etc.

It’s taken a bit of effort but I have now found a solution that works.  I drive to Grimston Bar park and ride, take out the bike from my boot and use cycle paths – actual road cycling is minimal, and it’s always on roads I’m comfortable cycling on.  York has the most amazing routes for cyclists, as I am discovering more and more as I get into it. I am not a natural cyclist, it’s not something I’ve always done, but I would even admit to enjoying it now!  I’ve now been cycling for a while and feel it has real benefits for both my physical and mental health.  It means no commuter stress whatsoever, and actually, I reckon my journey home is quicker as, by the time I get to the car, I have passed the stop-start traffic that used to take up so much of my time.


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