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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Staff get on their bike and earn Lancashire Cycle Challenge certificates while helping the environment

Pedal-powered West Lancashire Borough Council staff have been getting fit and doing their bit for the environment by participating in the Lancashire Cycle Challenge 2014.

This involved organisations across Lancashire competing against each other to see who can get the most people riding a bike.

The Challenge ran for three weeks from 16 June to 6 July and organisations across Lancashire competed against each other to see who could get the most workers riding a bike. A website hosted a live leaderboard so staff could see how well we were doing. 

The Challenge was a great success and West Lancashire Borough Council managed to claim second place out of 22 competitors in the category for organisations with more than 500 staff. The Council’s Housing and Regeneration Service also came fourth out of 31 teams in the category for teams with between 200 and 499 staff. 

Overall 35 Borough Council staff registered and logged a combined total of 219 cycle rides, covering 3,812 miles and saving 610kg in CO2 emissions that would have been created should these journeys have been made by car.  This is the equivalent of six journeys from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Councillor Martin Forshaw, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Development said: “Cycling not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also reduces journeys by car, helping to reduce emissions contributing to climate change and poor air quality.  Campaigns such as the Lancashire Cycle Challenge are fantastic for raising the profile of cycling and it’s great to see that so many staff took part.”

The Council is keen to promote cycling for both its health and environmental benefits.  The Council has a successful staff Cycle to Work scheme which has been running since 2012 and has helped over 50 staff start cycling to work so far. 

Public cycle hire facilities have also recently been set up by the Council working with its partners at VISIT Sefton and West Lancashire, with six docking stations located at Park Pool in Ormskirk, Burscough Leisure Centre, Burscough Wharf, The Ship Inn at Lathom, Riverside Holiday Park in Banks, and Edge Hill University. The bikes can be hired from as little as £1 per hour (a minimum charge applies). All you need to hire a bike is a mobile phone and a credit or debit card.

Helmets are not provided and people should bring their own if they want one. There is no legal requirement to wear a helmet when riding a bike on a public highway or footpath. However cyclists are strongly recommended to do so.

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