Green Travel Plans, obese staff, unions & NHS bureaucracy

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  • Green Travel Plans, obese staff, unions & NHS bureaucracy
  • scruff
    Member

    Green Travel Plans

    I’m getting involved with a new green travel plan at work (2x Medium sized NHS hospitals).

    Last one was written to tick a box and nothing done. Anything changed will upset staff, most of then live within 5 miles and drive in, then take the lift to the first floor.

    Preliminary plan is to encourage cycling & walking, decrease car use (no s1t sherlock), make staff fitter & healthier/ more productive. No budget allocated as yet.

    First thoughts – better staff changing /cycling facilities, limiting car park passes, better bus stop nearer the entrance. NHS cycle scheme is rubbish, they charge for finance an your bike gets ordered from catalogue then delivered. Need to betterize disabled drop off facilities, its generally clogged up by the consultants Jaguars.
    Maybe ask local outdoors shop for staffs discounts for waterproof n’that, maybe a free breakfast in the canteen for walkists/ cyclists.

    Nothing mentioned about motorbikes/mopeds, are they seen as Green? I know deliveries to site are supposed to be included but how can you control external pre- approved suppliers?

    Any thoughts, help & advice appreciated.

    johni
    Member

    Secure and dry bike storage rather than just something to chain it to?

    scruff
    Member

    Already have secure and dry bike storage but its used as a smoking shelter FFS.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    At our nearest hospital, (Frimley Park) you aren’t allowed to smoke ANYWHERE on the grounds…..

    andym
    Member

    Cycle training? Buddying? They should definitely be in the cycle2work scheme or similar.

    yossarian
    Member

    I’ve just written one of these myself!

    Include a comprehensive annual staff survey including methods of travel and questions about which incentives would encourage them to give up the car etc etc, staff distribution in terms of residence/distance travelled etc. You can use this as tool to determine what measures you need to put in place.

    Speak to local bus/rail companies to see whether you can get a discount scheme going for your staff

    Speak to liftshare companies in your area – these can be quite effective also

    Have you signed a section 106 with your local authority yet? If not then don’t until you are completely happy that you can meet your aims/targets

    I would also conduct an offsite-onstreet parking survey as soon as you can to get a picture as to how you are affecting the local area and its something the LA will be very interested in.

    Sorry none of this is in a clear order, just typing as thoughts are occuring : )

    scruff
    Member

    Staff survey can be done.
    Im working out a plan showing staff distirbution.
    Aleady spoken to bus company on one site as visitiors block the street and buses cant get passed. Discount scheme in negotiations.

    No eye deer about liftshare, will look into that.

    106 mentioned but not sure.

    Offsite parking regularly results in threats of violence :-0

    yossarian
    Member

    oh and don’t forget your ‘clients’ as well.

    A ventilated drying room for gear would be very handy. At our place we have nice showers, but nowhere to leave (and ideally dry) wet and muddy gear. Mine and most other serious cyclists stuff gets draped round the office, across the filing cabinets, hung under desks etc.

    sofatester
    Member

    I work for a local authority; we have a big office with approximately 2000 staff. The car park is always full and people always complain they can’t get a parking space. Well, when they say can’t what they really mean is they can’t find a parking space within 10 meters of the lifts.

    We have male/female changing rooms, showers, covered bike locking area, radiators and clothes pegs for drying, cycle paths all over the town, good train connections, bus service that stops outside and car share scheme.

    Guess what? I am one of a handful of people who ride on a regular basis. The bus stop has about 5 people waiting when I ride past at 1710hrs. I know of one person who uses the train to get to work. Yet people complain about the “traffic” getting to work!

    Sure, try and get the facilities in place. Unfortunately we are an inherently lazy nation, one of the by products of rampant capitalism. If people want to/have to use public transport they will. If people want to ride there bike in they will. God forbid some might even walk. Otherwise the easiest option will be taken, the Car.

    If I was you I’d try getting a McDonalds or KFC contract. It will be far more successful.

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Subscriber

    scruff – which hospital you at out of interest?

    julianwilson
    Member

    I am the only staff member of 75 in the NHS unit where I work who cycles in. And that is probably a good thing at the moment as facilities are literally non-existsent: I don’t see how my unit could support more than 3 or 4 of us doing so.

    Working amongst nurses (presumably your largest group of workers by far) for 10 years now, I would say that the ‘negative’ things will be very poorly recieved. Restricting parking passes will not make anyone give up driving, it will just make them annoy local residents or businesses by parking off-site, and they will resent the hospital for increasing the effective length of their working day by having a real mission to park somewhere else. It may also be misinterpreted as a money-saving or ‘access for patients/customers’ scheme at the expense of the staff.

    What i think would make a big difference for nurses at least would be:
    1) properly secure bike parking near the building. Preferably with swipe card or keycode access so you don’t have to go crazy with a huge bike lock and your bike seat is dry. (I know i know, but that is something my non-cyclist colleagues always ask me about my bike being locked up out in the rain!)
    2) biiiig changing and showering facilities. Once people get into the mindset that they can have their daily shower at work instead of at home it reduces the feeling that this cycling nonsense is eating into your home life and making you all icky at work.
    3) With hairdryers. Yes, much of the group that you are reaching out to are nurses and most of them at least in general, childrens and midwifery are women who will definitely prioritise hair. Mrs Julian has bought her own hairdryer for work but works in a small-ish unit with very few cyclists and has dodged having to get it PAT tested. You will need PAT tested ones or weall-mounted swimming pool type ones otherwise you will get into all sorts of H&S bother.
    4) Big lockers.
    5) FFS bring back uniform laundering for nurses: (but have the collection point near the changing facilities rather than going up to the ward to fetch it to go back down to the changing room…) they will need to take less stuff in with them, they will look less crinkly cos it hasn’t come in a rucksack or got soaked in the rain.
    6) yes big drying room also coded/swipe access door. In a limitlessly-funded world it would have ‘lockers’ with drainage underneath and grilles top and bottom so your stuff was not nicked and nice and warm when you finish your shift.
    And yes financial help too: cycleschemes and local discounts, perhaps in return for ‘sponsoring’ your new facilities. Many folk don’t know anyone who can fix bikes so perhaps making a few of yourselves contactable about bike woes would be nice too: if they are small enough hospitals then “that bloke who works in MAU” will not seem too much of a stranger to help someone sort their seat angle out etc.

    I guess the other obstacle you will get is funding: all the above idealist stuff would cost much more set up and to maintain than better bus stops and big staff car parks: you need to be clear about the health benefits of cycling as the reason for all this because effectively much of the total cost of travelling is passed on to the hospital rather than epople buying their cars and paying for their petrol etc.

    scruff
    Member

    Jimmy- Mid Staffs.

    Julian, all good points, the laundering facilities have just been removed as no-one used them. Seems minor to me but very good point about hairdriers, first thing my wife wants to know about when we go anywhere is showers and hairdryers !

    Anyone got a free way of identifying Postcodes boundaries on a map, I need to do a ‘how far people travel in’ plan and have no money to spend on licences.

    acjim
    Member

    At the trust I work at (North Bristol if you want to contact the Env’ manager there) we have pretty much what Julian describes above bar the Uniform laundering. The bike storage area is always (well when it’s not snowy at least) full and used by a cross section of staff from Porters to Consultants. In fact we could do with a unit five times as large, during the Summer it’s absolutely packed.
    The car parking is so bad that we have had to start using off site (with a connecting bus) but I’m not sure many people use it – most just seem to park on the pavements around the site 🙄

    I don’t know if it’s available in your town but we have Dr Bike in Bristol who can be booked to do free services for people and hand out lights etc – maybe contact them?

    They have tried the free bikers breakfast thing, I don’t know successful that is as I’ve always had some before hand and/or missed it as I’m genetically programmed to be late.

    Good luck!

    acjim
    Member

    re: postcode boundaries, you can get a freebie one from here but it’s only outcodes, ie. the 1st part of the code, so gives limited accuracy. Have you tried the information department in your trust as they should have a GIS license of some sort (I know we do).

    scruff
    Member

    ACJIm, I used to live & work in Brizzle, its a much more bike friendly place than here. Will take a look at the postcode ZIP, we may have a GIS license will try to find out who to ask.

    acjim
    Member

    Get in touch with our Env manager (Esther is her name) she’s cool, forward looking and actually active in my experience. She might be able to provide you with some supporting stats for the bike facilities etc

    stumpy01
    Member

    How about offering cycle proficieny training at a reduced cost/free? A lot of people I think are apprehensive about cycling on the road. Some kind of training might make people more willing to give it a go.

    It’s good to see that some places do this.

    The last place I worked at had a bike shed at out Cambridge head office, but it was also the smoking shed too. There were showers & lockers there too.
    The company then set up a massive production facility up the road and had ‘no budget’ for a shower room with some lockers. Even the cycle rack only got put in place after the managers complained the building was looking untidy with all the bikes chained to the fences.
    Now the expansion of the facility is being planned and there are still no plans for a staff changing area. One of my riding mates refused to be put on secondment there as there was nowhere for him to change when he cycled in, or if he wanted to go for a run at lunch.

    It’s nice to see that some places see this thing as important.

    I’d say Julian has it pretty spot on. He’s certainly covered everything I’d suggest. How about having a local shop mechanic come in a do free bike servicing for a day?

    I work for a PCT and am getting involved with obtaining bike facilities for our office building. We presently have a really nice shower but nowhere secure to lock bikes and store kit. I keep my shiny new road bike in the office (much to my manager’s displeasure) and have to leave wet, stinky lycra all over the place. There are a few people from my team who cycle in now and again, but it’s probably to be expected as we work in health promotion and aer a fairly healthy bunch.

    Devon PCT, in conjunction with the council, have been running cycle courses for adults for about a year now. They’ve been really popular apparently, although I don’t know much about the content.

    The hair thing is apparently quite important for the ladies (and probably all those metrosexual men in That London). I read an article in Cycling Plus recently that stated (from a research article) bad hair was the primary reason women wouldn’t cycle to work and wear helmets.

    Oh, don’t forget to tell eveytone that the NHS also offers an excellent Stop Smoking service. 😀

    acjim
    Member

    Trusts should be completely non smoking IMO

    scruff
    Member

    its a bit harsh to make pregant mothers go outside the grounds for a fag.

    And what about all those acute patients holding their drips?

    acjim
    Member

    hehe, must p1ss off the Drs and Nurses a great deal to see the pt’s (especially resp’ ones) puffing away. It has made a difference to staff puffing where I work (visibly at least)

    Are there staff who drive because they need their cars during the day? Include that in the survey and if there are, ask them if the presence of a pool vehicle would encourage them to get other means of transport to work.

    The pool vehicle could be an electric moped.

    I need my car for work 3 days a week as I have to travel about the community for outpatient clinics, although I’m trying to reschedule my clinics so I can cycle betweeen them on one of these days. I cycle into the office on the other 2 days (the ride in is 14 miles through some beautiful Devon countryside and includes a 1:6 climb/descent).

    I love the idea of being able to cycle into the office and then jump into a shared motor. I’m not sure about an electric monkey bike for my 120mile round trip to Exeter/Plymouth/Exmouth for meetings though – makes me think of the moped scene in Dumb & Dumber.

    NHS – we did the CycleScheme and at the same time installed individual bike lockers and bought a couple of pool cars.
    The pool cars are chepaer than payimng travel expenses for travel round the region – Scotland, so sites are relatively far apart, probably further than most english sites. that’s good because it means cycling in is possible, even if yoiu know you’re going to be travelling during the day.
    then, a bus was chartered/hired/whatever to provide a free (if you’re on business) servive between the two largest sites. The public can use the bus, but pay (it’s £2 odd for a 25 mile trip)
    Overall, these have been fairly successful.
    I’m not so sure about the pool bike though.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    When my wifes employer moved from the centre of B’ham to the Fort Dunlop Building recently. They “encouraged” car sharing by rationing the parking places available. My wife now pics 4 people in on her way in.
    Good result eh…

    …problem is she picks them up from the Sainsbury’s car park down the road, where they all now park.

    sofatester
    Member

    You can’t polish a turd!

    willyboy
    Member

    scruff – i doubt they should be using the bike shelter to smoke in – read this http://www.midstaffs.nhs.uk/visitingUs/noSmoking/index.asp

    toxicsoks
    Member

    Are you going to promote ‘bike to work’ scheme? The trust that I work in put out ‘feelers’ to gauge interest…………….then claimed it was ‘too much paper work’ when the torrent of ‘oh, yes!’ came in. They basically shat themselves regarding the initial cash outlay!

    scruff
    Member

    Trust has this in place, so far 8 bike shave been ordred through it. When I looked into it they charged you finance on top of the actual fee,seemed a bit of a ripoff to me, think its a private compny actaully doing it.http://www.nhsbikes.co.uk/index.html

    Willyboy, unfortunately reality is a bit different.

    scruff
    Member

    Note that the bicycles on offer through the scheme include a finance charge because the Trust is leasing the bicycles over a twelve month period and not purchasing outright. Hence a finance charge of around 8% has
    been included in the price of each bicycle.

    I got my bike through Bikes for the NHS – it does work out slightly cheaper after tax deductions but not by much. It was convenient for me to have it deducted from my salary and all that, but I could probably have paid about the same if I’d have shopped around (I got a Giant Defy road bike and a pair of Rebas). I didn’t have a grand to pay up front though. As it is, I’ll end up paying about £850 for both items, so not the 40% saving they suggest in their ads.

    It works out easier for the trust as they don’t have to shell out any money. It’s crap for us as it really restricted where we could shop. They were only able to offer me 3 local bike shops to use and refused to give me details of available shops out of my area. Meant I was forced to use a shop that I prefer not to frequent. They also limit your purchase to £920, rather than a grand like cyclescheme. Given the choice, I’d rather have the cyclescheme on offer. Shops aren’t keen to sign up to the NHS scheme as it takes 2 months before they get paid.

    sootyandjim
    Member

    PP – Frimley Park may have a no-smoking policy but its roundly ignored by both patients and staff alike. Most just pop across to to car park and spark up over there.

    scruff
    Member

    Sponger,

    cheers- I get verygood deals through my LBS and have advised people to use them instead of the NHS bikes.

    sootyandjim
    Member

    Swinnerton Cycles Scruff?

    Aidan
    Member

    Another thing you can do is a “try cycling” scheme. The company I work for, Cycle Experience, runs these at companies/hospitals/wherever we’re asked.

    We come along with a load of bikes, helmets, and other bits/bobs to loan people for a month. Talk to them about cycling to work – i.e. advise about picking a route, carrying clothes, maintaining their bikes, all that stuff. Then, they can contact us during the month if they have problems/questions. At the end of the period, we collect up all the bikes and have a review of what people thought.

    As someone mentioned above, there is also cycle training. This is split into 4 levels. The first (call it level 0) teaches people who have never ridden a bike to actually balance and ride in the first place. The next 3 are national standards. Level 1 is being able to ride in a non-road situation covering: signalling, looking behind, manoeuvring, stopping on a line, emergency stop. Level 2 covers quiet roads: turning into/out of roads etc. Level 3 is everything else: route-planning, dual carriageways, multi-lane roundabouts.

    scruff
    Member

    Sooty, Yes the Fenton one.

    Aiden, will take note thanks.

    scruff
    Member

    Sponging-
    Intranet post today, NHS bikes have dropped the finance,Ive asked for more info-

    The scheme is now run at 0% finance (making bikes even cheaper) and it is also possible for bikes to be sourced through local bike shops on request.

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