South Gloucs businesses install emergency cycle kits for commuter cyclists
Kits include locks, lights and high-vis gear, as well as repair tools

South Gloucestershire firms have grouped together to create emergency bike first aid kits - that they hope will encourage staff to cycle to work.

More than 20 firms along the A4174 ring road - which represent around 40,000 staff members and 30,000 students, have cooperated to deposit specialist kits at workplaces.

These include essential cycle maintenance tools and spare equipment such as lights, locks and high-visibility jackets, to help out riders who might otherwise be stranded when they forget something.

The employers involved include Airbus, HP, Mitie, Friends Life and the Bristol & Bath Science Park, as well as the University of the West of England and NHS Blood & Transplant.

The scheme was introduced by North Bristol SusCom, which stands for 'Sustainable Commuting' and is a partnership between local businesses.

SusCom Director Ann O’Driscoll said: "We all recognise the importance of sustainable transport, such as cycling, as a way of reducing congestion and promoting healthy lifestyles.

"Cycling to work is a great way to get fit and save money and this scheme aims to make it as easy as possible for staff to do this.

"Flat tyres or forgotten locks can be a big nuisance for cyclists and this scheme aims to encourage people to bike to work in the knowledge that help is at hand should it be needed."

SusCom also operate a pool bike scheme for businesses.

The National Composite Centre at the Bristol & Bath Science Park is one of many local employers to have recently taken delivery of a kit. Chief Executive Peter Chivers said: “The NCC is fully committed to providing our employees with sustainable and healthy travel to work alternatives.

“As a keen cyclist myself I had the misfortune of two punctures on my way to work by bike this summer. I can understand the impact and challenge that making a repair can make and the additional time which can impact on the working day.

“The NCC is therefore really pleased to participate in the scheme because it gives a win all round, benefitting the environment, the employee and the business.”

Cllr Brian Allinson, chairman of South Gloucestershire Council’s planning, transportation and strategic environment committee, said: "Many people live within three or five miles of their workplace, making cycling an ideal means of getting to work.

"And with recent investment in cycle routes in South Gloucestershire, there has never been a better time for people to get on their bike – especially with the added reassurance that any minor maintenance problems can be resolved when they get there, thanks to this excellent emergency kit scheme."

<p>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.</p>


Karbon Kev [685 posts] 3 years ago

fantastic combination of business acumen imo

a.jumper [843 posts] 3 years ago

Ann O’Driscoll, ex south west regional development authority I think - remember swrda? They were those unelected people who funded anti-cycling revamps to town centres up and down the west country, while doing little to help build the cycle route network.

Oh well, better late than never.

bikeaid [2 posts] 3 years ago

Great idea. In Suffolk there is a similar no-cost self-sustaining scheme available to the public using recycled tools. I hope this encourages more of the same thinking in Bristol. http://suffolkbikeaid.blogspot.co.uk

HKCambridge [214 posts] 3 years ago

Well, yes, it's handy, and anything to raise the profile of cycling is nice.

But I can buy my own bike maintenance equipment, thanks. I can't buy my own roads. How long before this stuff goes unused in a cupboard somewhere and everyone writes it off as 'well, obviously no-one wants to cycle'.

bikeaid [2 posts] 2 years ago

HKC in my surveys I found 90% people go out without tools. Also irregular cyclists and cycle-hire customers are put off by concerns about breakdowns. Though not perfect, a network of simple accessible kits like ours http://suffolkbikeaid.blogspot.co.uk/p/what-is-bike-aid.html would greatly alleviate those concerns. Also having some tools handy greatly enables any 'cycle angels' who might be around. I witnessed a cyclist boarding the cycle carriage on a train with a broken bike where a fellow rider had the tools but not the skills, another rider had the skills but no tools with them, but together they dismantled and rebuilt the broken dérailleur during the train journey.

a.jumper [843 posts] 2 years ago

Wouldn't it be better to sponsor the skilled cyclists with lightweight versatile repair kits?