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Norman Tebbit's advice runs strong where public transport is failing would-be workers...

Jobseekers in Yorkshire are getting a taste of Norman Tebbit’s medicine with a council push to get them on a bike and finding work.

Cheap bikes and cycle training are being offered as part of a £1.5m Department for Transport grant to promote cycling and walking to work across West Yorkshire.

The scheme is being run by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, with help from transport charity Sustrans and cycling trainers BikeRight.

Job seekers and apprentices will be offered one of around 250 bikes at a subsidised rate - which is yet to be revealed.

There will also be free cycle training - which will also be rolled out to the general public.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, transport chairman for the combined authority, told the Telegraph and Argus: “This initiative is going to have a real impact in West Yorkshire, not only for cycling but also for those who’re looking for work.

“Transport is such an important part of any economy and cycling is a cheap and flexible mode, providing you have a bike and can ride it with confidence.

“For someone who doesn’t have access to a car, they would have trouble taking on a job that includes shift work when public transport might not be running, or at a workplace that doesn’t have a bus stop nearby.”

Training will take place at five CityConnect cycle hubs across West Yorkshire, one in each local authority area. Bradford’s training will be held at the hub at University Academy, in Keighley.

Earlier this year we reported how Manchester jobseekers are being offered free recycled cycles to help them get back into work.

The Bike Back to Work scheme, a Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) initiative in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, allows jobseekers who have found new employment a free bike to help with travel costs.

It acknowledges that in the modern job market, many shift patterns are not supported by adequate public transport.

Eligible applicants will also receive free equipment, such as helmets and hi-vis vests, and access to free cycle training.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

17 comments

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Ramuz [309 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Always wondered why Northerners, who go to great lengths to point out how tough they are, have to chauffeur themselves around, when Southern Softies manage to get about in larger numbers using a bit of physical effort.

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davel [1676 posts] 2 months ago
9 likes
Ramuz wrote:

Always wondered why Northerners, who go to great lengths to point out how tough they are, have to chauffeur themselves around, when Southern Softies manage to get about in larger numbers using a bit of physical effort.

Really? And have you found any plausible explanations?

My own guess is it's cause we're all knackered from giving you lot wedgies and nicking your dinner money - but do please post your findings. Some of us can read.

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Ramuz [309 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
davel wrote:
Ramuz wrote:

Always wondered why Northerners, who go to great lengths to point out how tough they are, have to chauffeur themselves around, when Southern Softies manage to get about in larger numbers using a bit of physical effort.

Really? And have you found any plausible explanations? My own guess is it's cause we're all knackered from giving you lot wedgies and nicking your dinner money - but do please post your findings. Some of us can read.

Now Davel, I know there are some genuine Northerners like yourself who do ride bikes. Hats off to them. But there are many who would not dream of using one for transport, especially in West Yorkshire - I used to live there!

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antigee [429 posts] 2 months ago
7 likes

Southern Softies manage to get about in larger numbers using a bit of physical effort a highly subsidised public transport network 

think thats a bit more like it 

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alansmurphy [856 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

As per the above.

You lot are like sardines in a tin then get on a train and tiddle along a couple of miles on a Brompton.

Most of you couldn't make it to our next door neighbours...

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check12 [131 posts] 2 months ago
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Yorkshire wallet [1423 posts] 2 months ago
7 likes

I drive to work sometimes as I'm tired from a hard night's badger lamping and bird of prey shooting. That's life up north.

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alansmurphy [856 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

Badger lamping... You had it easy, I used to badger lamp without a lamp... or badgers. Then walk 25 hours a day home cross t'fields.

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ktache [627 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

I'm hoping they are not going to get them cheap new bikes, refurbished second hand ones would provide more employment annd training for others.  The prisoner refurbished ones that were brought to the uni were very good, providing a better bike for the money which would provide a better long term investment.  And hopefully less tempting for theives.

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Leodis [424 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
Ramuz wrote:
davel wrote:
Ramuz wrote:

Always wondered why Northerners, who go to great lengths to point out how tough they are, have to chauffeur themselves around, when Southern Softies manage to get about in larger numbers using a bit of physical effort.

Really? And have you found any plausible explanations? My own guess is it's cause we're all knackered from giving you lot wedgies and nicking your dinner money - but do please post your findings. Some of us can read.

Now Davel, I know there are some genuine Northerners like yourself who do ride bikes. Hats off to them. But there are many who would not dream of using one for transport, especially in West Yorkshire - I used to live there!

 

Maybe its because London gets £350m spent on cycling over 10 years, in Leeds we have got £20m and you expect people to feel safe?  Also its all well on a flat route but through in some climbs and lack of work facilities and I who is a commuter by bike can see why others do not.  Also we get worse weather.

 

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tarquin_foxglove [164 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

This makes so much sense.

I was at a mini-conference organised by a group of local authorities in my region about getting people into work.

A lack of candidates was limiting the ability of firms to grow so there were jobs but not near areas of highest unemployment or having frequent public transport (the business & retail parks etc having been built outside of urban centres) and having to get at least two modes of public transport followed by a long walk etc was a barrier to entering employment through cost, time & perception.

As the crow flies the distances weren't that great (c.10 miles at most) between an area of high unemployment & an area of high job vacancies, so I suggested that they should invest in providing safe cycle infrastructure and give them recycled bikes to enable, cheap, fast convenient travel.

The response was that politically it wouldn't be supported as politicians want everyone to drive as it is considered to be an indicator of wealth & success and they didn't think that job seekers would go for it either.

So the main recommendations of the conference were to initiate car clubs, car sharing and subsidised hire of mopeds.

smdh

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Vehlin [39 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
tarquin_foxglove wrote:

This makes so much sense.

I was at a mini-conference organised by a group of local authorities in my region about getting people into work.

A lack of candidates was limiting the ability of firms to grow so there were jobs but not near areas of highest unemployment or having frequent public transport (the business & retail parks etc having been built outside of urban centres) and having to get at least two modes of public transport followed by a long walk etc was a barrier to entering employment through cost, time & perception.

As the crow flies the distances weren't that great (c.10 miles at most) between an area of high unemployment & an area of high job vacancies, so I suggested that they should invest in providing safe cycle infrastructure and give them recycled bikes to enable, cheap, fast convenient travel.

The response was that politically it wouldn't be supported as politicians want everyone to drive as it is considered to be an indicator of wealth & success and they didn't think that job seekers would go for it either.

So the main recommendations of the conference were to initiate car clubs, car sharing and subsidised hire of mopeds.

smdh

Regardless of the council's reasoning I don't think a 10 mile each way cycle commute is a realistic option for a lot of people. My commute to work is about 8 miles each way and the first couple of times I did it (having not been on a bike in years) required days of rest to recover from. Expecting people to do that at all hours of the day in all weathers is just too much imo, especially if they're then going to be on their feet for the next 10 hours in Tesco.

I would argue that if these businesses want to take advantage of the cheaper land on the out of town retail parks then they should be taking responsibility for the staff that need to get to them at all hours of the day. If that means a shuttle bus to the nearest bus stop after work, or coordinating shift changes with the other shops so that a bus back to town at 11pm is economically viable for the bus company then do that.

I remember when I used to work in a pub years ago that the pub paid for our taxi home after an evening shift because there was no public transport at that time. Why should these employers, who chose to set up away from the places people live, not have a similar responsiblity to their staff?

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Duncann [1115 posts] 2 months ago
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check12 wrote:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/north-south-divide-transpo...

Getting a bit away from the story to a much wider issue - but it's an interesting one (to me!)

Clearly London's public transport network has a lot of public spending (how else are staff paid, vehicles bought/maintained/fuelled, etc?). Elsewhere, people mostly use private transport so private spending is higher.

Spending is only half the picture though: London's public transport network is heavily used and also generates huge income. So London-centric rail franchsises, for example, often return net contributions to public coffers (e.g. in 2015/16 Thameslink alone paid a premium of £279 million, whereas Northern received £249m). 

http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN01343h...

London's extensive bus network is expensive to provide but offset by income from the congestion charge as well as huge numbers of passengers, so it is much less subsidised per passenger km than elsewhere:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/bus-subsidy-per-passenger-journey

Transport is only one, small part of the overall public income and spending picture: www.theweek.co.uk/checked-out/84933/does-london-really-subsidise-the-uk

There's a big debate about spending and taxation across the UK, and no definitive answers. But the process isn't helped by extrapolating from very selective data taken out of context.

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Simon E [3095 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
tarquin_foxglove wrote:

This makes so much sense.

Which is why it won't happen.

You can't let people get all independent and not being so reliant on the car & oil industries. Think of the economy!

And how are they supposed to justify all the road-building?

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brooksby [2575 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Can I just add to this discussion that "the South" does not equal "London".  Surely the real discussion should be on "money spent in London" vs "money spent everywhere outside London"?

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wellsprop [372 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
check12 wrote:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/north-south-divide-transpo...

That explains why transport infrastructure is so shite here in the SW.

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Duncann [1115 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

Can I just add to this discussion that "the South" does not equal "London".  Surely the real discussion should be on "money spent in London" vs "money spent everywhere outside London"?

They are very different, it's true. The comments here seem mostly just a bit knockabout, probably not to be taken to seriously - although they may reflect deeply-held prejudices.

The ONS recently produced data on both public spending and income for the UK, summarised here: www.theweek.co.uk/checked-out/84933/does-london-really-subsidise-the-uk