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Published 22nd Mar 2011

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More than 900 staff in businesses and organisations across Middlesbrough are now cycling to work thanks to Middlesbrough’s Healthy Town programme.

The programme’s incentivised bike scheme enabled workers to purchase a new mountain bike at a subsidised rate.

Now more than 900 bikes have been distributed to staff at various workplaces in Middlesbrough.

The scheme is aimed at encouraging staff in the town to travel to and from work by bike which will help them to become healthier. This will also help to reduce carbon emissions and congestion.

Along with the bike, staff received national standards cycle training, a helmet, back pack, lock, lights and puncture repair equipment in order to keep them safe and keep the bikes in use.

Work places that benefited from the scheme were:

A4E, AV Dawson, Best Ltd, DW Websters, Evening Gazette, Fabrick Housing, Foster Wheeler, Intelect UK, James Cook University Hospital, Job Centre Plus, King’s Academy, Macmillan Academy, Middlesbrough College, Middlesbrough Council, Middlesbrough Environment City, Psyche, Roseberry Park Hospital, School Sports Partnership, Shop Mobility, SK Foods, Teesside University, Tesco Coulby Newham and Unity City Academy.

The Healthy Town programme is a two year scheme to improve health and reduce obesity in the town. The programme, which has instigated more than 40 schemes, officially ends at the end of March.

Councillor Brenda Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Public Health and Sport, said: “The incentivised bike scheme has proven extremely popular with people from a wide variety of organisations and has enabled more and more people to cycle to and from work in Middlesbrough.

“The success of the scheme indicates there is a huge desire among people to leave the car at home and use the bike instead. There are so many health benefits to cycling and it also has the great benefit of saving people money on petrol.”

Middlesbrough is bidding for City Status as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations next year.

Cllr Thompson added: “If Middlesbrough becomes a city we will become the Cycling City of the North!”

As a consequence of the incentivised bike scheme more people are using the Middlesbrough Cycle Centre which is based in Middlesbrough Bus Station.

The Cycle Centre offers free, indoor secure cycle parking for its members, along with shower facilities.

One of the major legacies of the Healthy Town programme is the new Middlesbrough Cycle Circuit at Prissick Sports Hub off Marton Road. Sessions for casual users for the first three months are free. For more information visit middlesbroughcyclecircuit.co.uk






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