July 11, 2012, 2:37 pm -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Plusnet has welcomed the launch of BikeBoost, a revamped cycling programme which aims to encourage more Sheffield workers to cycle to work.
The project - funded by Sheffield City Council through the Local Sustainable Transport fund - is part of a scheme based in the North East of the city and is being delivered jointly by Get Cycling, Pedal Ready and Heeley Development Trust.
The scheme offers the free loan of a top-brand bike and cycle accessories, in order for people to try their hand at cycling without the commitment of purchasing a bike. At the end of the loan period, trialists can return the bike or look to purchase at a heavily discounted cost from the high street.
In addition to the free loan, trialists can also enlist the help and support of cyclist instructors for bespoke road craft training; including accompaniment on the initial journeys to and from work and cycle maintenance.
"We're aiming to remove the hurdles that stop Sheffielders cycling," said Graeme Symington, BikeBoost Project Officer. "We know that people don't want to spend money on a decent bike unless they know they're going to use it and are often worried about dealing with traffic and bike maintenance and repairs. This scheme addresses all those deterrents and aims to get hundreds more people in the City cycling to work this year."
Plusnet, a home and business broadband company which employs over 700 people, has recently moved to a new city centre office and has 57 staff taking part in the trial. Mark Dundon, CIO of Plusnet and one of the firm's employees taking part in the scheme said: "Plusnet is delighted to be the first company in Sheffield taking part in the revamped scheme. Not only does the scheme help staff save money and get fit, it also offers a much more reliable journey into work. I have been cycling for ten years now but the advice of the cycle instructors from BikeBoost has really helped improve my traffic awareness and the tricky issue of tram lines."
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development at Sheffield City Council said: "BikeBoost is a great example of how we are working with businesses across the city. There has been a fantastic response to the scheme so far from Plusnet staff and I hope this enthusiasm continues across the scheme. We are working with business across the city to help increase travel options and choice."
BikeBoost is part of Sheffield's Cycleboost scheme. Sheffield City Council is funding the scheme as part of the 4.9 million pounds, Local Sustainable Transport Fund settlement won earlier this year by South Yorkshire from the Department for Transport.
Cycleboost will run for at least three years and brings together Sheffield based companies Pedal Ready, who provide cycling road craft sessions and Recycle Bikes, who provide maintenance services to new and existing cyclists, along with Yorkshire based Get Cycling, who run the Bikeboost loan scheme.
The scheme will roll out to other companies, organisations and community groups in the North East of the city this summer.
For more information on go to www.bikeboost.org
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