As the Covid 19 pandemic hit it became clear that key workers needed a safe and affordable way to get to work. Four organisations came together to offer support and advice to key workers on a shift to active travel. These were Sustrans, Ridewise, Nottingham Bike Works and Nottingham City Council.
The project provided travel advice, access to training and the possibility of a free bike and equipment. This enabled a lot of key workers to be able to reduce their costs, reduce their carbon emissions and improve their health and well being and also know how long the journey would take. The majority of workers were on low income.
We had 450 applications for bikes to the project. We delivered 350 bikes and 350 personalised travel plans.
We got a response from 22% or applicants when contacted. Of those contacted 97% said the scheme had helped them to get to work. 80+% said that having the bike had improved their physical, mental and emotional well being.
We had an excellent quote from one of the recipients Amal: "The bike has given me so much more than cheap travel. It has helped me to reduce my carbon footprint and increase my physical fitness and mental health."
The project was coordinated for Sustrans by Charlotte Arkley ([email protected]).
Find your key partners. Ensure that all your agendas line up and are mutually supportive. Develop good referral links and communication between partners. Use social media and other outlets to promote the offer but also secure unwanted bikes to be refurbished.
Ensure you have a good supply of refurbished bikes. Develop good links with organisations such as Job Centres, hospitals, schools who have links with possible clients. Do a follow up supportive call to give a gentle nudge.