Cambridge hospital turns bike shelter in to… smoking shelter

Reallocating use of cycle shelter to give smokers somewhere to puff away sends out wrong message, say critics

by Simon_MacMichael   November 23, 2012  

Cigarette Smoke Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin, Wikimedia Commons)

Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge has removed 60 cycle parking spaces from a covered shelter, with the space being given to smokers to puff away on their cigarettes. The hospital, which has strong links with the University of Cambridge, insists it is committed to promoting cycling, but cycle campaigners say its action sends out entirely the wrong signal.

Robin Heydon from Cambridge Cycling Campaign told Cambridge News: “Addenbrooke’s is already overflowing with bikes, so to remove bike parking, especially to put in a smoking shelter, seems completely and entirely against what the NHS should be about.”

The website says that the reallocation of the space is tied to works associated with enlargement of the major trauma unit at Addenbrooke’s, which a spokesman for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust said would result in the creation of 79 additional cycle parking places.

“At CUH we are committed to encouraging staff, patients and visitors to live a healthy lifestyle,” the spokesman explained.

“That is why we have made a commitment to provide an additional 500 cycle spaces over the next two years.

“We are working towards a smoke-free campus. Smoking shelters are in place because they help to minimise the safety and health risks.

“One of the five designated smoking shelters is being relocated to a new area next to the S block to replace cycle racks that are currently there.

“A number of cycle racks have already been removed immediately adjacent to the footpath; the second phase of this is to remove a further 25 cycle spaces to enable the smoking shelter to be relocated. This work will be complete by the end of 2012.”

Cambridge News points out that the hospital, which has previously been involved in controversy due to a Burger King restaurant opening in its food court, provides support for staff and patients trying to quit smoking.

However, local councillor Geoff Heathcock joined in the criticism over the hospital’s action in changing the purpose of the shelter.

“As a hospital, Addenbrooke’s should say that it doesn’t encourage smoking and therefore will not go out of its way to provide additional facilities for people who do smoke, given that a significant number of people come through its doors every year as an outcome of having been smokers all their lives,” he said.

22 user comments

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Addenbrookes is hopeless at providing bike parking. The site is a bike theft hot spot. They should be providing secure bike parking for staff, and lots of it too.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1329 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 14:49

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Even with a shelter, people will still lounge around at the doors to maternity/A&E forming a cancer-inducing 'guard of honour'.

posted by andyp [796 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 14:59

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If the person who made this decision is a smoker they should be sacked immediately.

posted by zanf [420 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 15:33

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This really beats the "Getting On" comedy series Smile

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [171 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 16:08

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What about putting smokers in the bike sheds to discourage bike theft? Two birds with one stone and all that...

posted by Mr Will [88 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 16:19

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'Smoking shelters are in place because they help to minimise the safety and health risks.'
This is top class thinking, the spokesman should have applied for the BeeB top job.

antonio

antonio's picture

posted by antonio [930 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 16:53

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Odd, as I thought all NHS premises, including the grounds of all hospitals, were designated smoke free ages ago. That's certainly the case at my hospital.

posted by benb [46 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 17:04

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Like benb said in the US all hospital grounds including the entire parking lot is a smoke free area. I would have assumed it would be the same way in the UK

new-to-cycling's picture

posted by new-to-cycling [47 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 17:29

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antonio wrote:
'Smoking shelters are in place because they help to minimise the safety and health risks.'
This is top class thinking, the spokesman should have applied for the BeeB top job.

^^^^
Totally agree.

Cuckoo thinking.

mingmong's picture

posted by mingmong [188 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 17:57

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Here's the Cycling Campaign's page on problems at Addenbrookes.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1329 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 19:33

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'Like benb said in the US all hospital grounds including the entire parking lot is a smoke free area. I would have assumed it would be the same way in the UK'

Find me a hospital which actually is a smoke-free area...

posted by andyp [796 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 19:34

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Mr Will wrote:
What about putting smokers in the bike sheds to discourage bike theft? Two birds with one stone and all that...

Mr Will, I like your style! Big Grin

posted by Alastair Norton [12 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 20:28

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The saddest thing that I ever saw, was smokers outside the hospital doors .... (the Editors)

posted by jamesxyz [20 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 21:43

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The key quote here is "Smoking shelters are in place because they help to minimise the safety and health risks." To some management wonks, cycling is an optional and risky activity, while providing a place for smokers is a necessity, because it avoids risks such as passive smoking compensation claims if smokers light up in the workplace itself. I'm sure a lot of the former cycling sheds at Royal Mail establishments were likewise converted to smoking shelters, when management decided that postmen doing their rounds by bike, as they had been for a century, was suddenly a health and safety (and liability) risk.

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 22:44

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I would imagine that a smokers reduced circulatory capacity would lead to a lower tolerance of cold and wet weather conditions, which is why shelters are necessary for them! Wink

posted by alun [44 posts]
23rd November 2012 - 23:03

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Why stop there? I think the Consultants rest room should become a 24hr bar Smile

Sudor

posted by Sudor [179 posts]
24th November 2012 - 9:12

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I'm sorry is it just me but WTF has a smoking shelter got to do with health Confused

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [456 posts]
24th November 2012 - 11:51

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“At CUH we are committed to encouraging staff, patients and visitors to live a healthy lifestyle,”

Smoking is part of a healthy lifestyle? Did the spokesperson think before opening their mouth?

Hamster's picture

posted by Hamster [72 posts]
24th November 2012 - 12:10

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benb wrote:
Odd, as I thought all NHS premises, including the grounds of all hospitals, were designated smoke free ages ago. That's certainly the case at my hospital.

Mine too! (Oxford). Nice to see us outdoing Cambridge on something, but still this is ridiculous.

(We do still have the cancer guard of honour at the doors, however).

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [580 posts]
24th November 2012 - 15:02

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You couldnt make it up really could you ..

I give up!!!!!!!!!

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [299 posts]
24th November 2012 - 16:51

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Perhaps they have revised their stance on not smoking on NHS grounds after that nurse was murdered in Hornchurch a couple of years back. That said judging by the amount of staff that still are out by the side of the main road off of that hospitals grounds it applies to them. Thinking

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [456 posts]
24th November 2012 - 17:14

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Mr Will wrote:
What about putting smokers in the bike sheds to discourage bike theft? Two birds with one stone and all that...

[[[[[ Hmmm...but what if the smokers nick the bikes, and the bikers see that and smoke out the bike-nickers, calling security who nick the smoking bike-nickers...I think I need a lie-down.
P.R.

PhilRuss

posted by PhilRuss [268 posts]
27th November 2012 - 1:57

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