‘Take the bike to work’

Couns Isobel Bowler and Jack Scott get on their bikes
Couns Isobel Bowler and Jack Scott get on their bikes
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Commuters in Sheffield are being urged to ditch the car and get on their bikes for the annual Cycle to Work day.

Employers encouraging staff to take part this Thursday include Sheffield Council, The University of Sheffield and South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership.

The campaign aim is to encourage 40,000 people to saddle up, improve people’s fitness and reduce the impact on the environment from cars.

Cycling has increased in popularity in Sheffield over the past decade and was given a further boost when the Tour de France came to the city.

The number of cyclists injured in South Yorkshire also decreased slightly in 2013, said safer roads education manager Joanne Wehrle.

She added: “However, we would like to see further improvements. Cyclists are still particularly vulnerable at junctions.

“We ask drivers to look out for cyclists, especially when turning.

“We advise cyclists to look and signal to show drivers what they plan to do and make eye contact where possible .

“Many more people are taking up cycling and if they aren’t confident they can take advantage of free adult cycle training on offer throughout South Yorkshire.”

The council wants to double the amount of Sheffield people cycling to work by 2024.

It has plans to develop new routes and increase bike hire. The free Cycleboost programme – where people can loan a bike for a month – is also run by the authority.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for public health, said: “We’re one of the biggest employers within the city and as a responsible employer, it’s only right that we encourage cycling and active travel amongst our staff.”

Darren Hardwick, travel planner in estates and facilities management at the university, said: “At the university we like to think that every day can be a cycle to work day.”

n Visit www.cycletoworkday.org.uk for more details.