Pedal power push

Air­port wants staff to com­mute by bike

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Amita Joshi amita.joshi@trin­i­tymir­

HEATHROW of­fi­cials have ap­pointed the world’s first air­port cy­cle of­fi­cer who will fo­cus on get­ting col­leagues on their bikes and mak­ing cy­cle routes safer in the area.

Ali Ja­farey is lead­ing a project with the hope of get­ting the 16,500 lo­cal staff mem­bers within 5km of the air­port ped­dling to work.

The part­ner­ship with Sus­trans, a cy­cling char­ity, aims to im­prove rid­ers’ con­fi­dence on their bikes by mak­ing routes more ac­ces­si­ble and train­ing them to feel more com­fort­able rid­ing.

Theo Panayi, sus­tain­able travel man­ager for Heathrow said: “We are look­ing for­ward to the part­ner­ship with Sus­trans, which will make the air­port’s cy­cle routes safer and more ac­ces­si­ble, help­ing many of our 16,500 col­leagues who live lo­cally feel more con­fi­dent about mak­ing the jour­ney to the air­port on their bikes.”

In the first year, Sus­trans and Heathrow will pub­lish a cy­cle strat­egy, which will be drafted with lo­cal author­i­ties.

Plans in­clude link­ing Heathrow’s ex­ist­ing cy­cling net­work with cor­ri­dors running to Feltham, Chiswick, West Dray­ton, Hayes, Slough and Staines.

Ac­cord­ing to Heathrow strate­gists, per­suad­ing col­leagues to take up cy­cling is part of the air­port’s cam­paign to re­duce car jour­neys with just one pas­sen­ger, as well as re­lated con­ges­tion and emis­sions.

How­ever, in a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view, a col­league claimed the air­port were not do­ing enough to tackle the “treach­er­ous roads” when they re­leased a video try­ing to pro­mote cy­cling to work.

James Scott, Sus­trans Pro­gramme Man­ager for Work­place Be­hav­iour Change said: “Heathrow is the largest cen­tre of em­ploy­ment in West Lon­don and is uniquely placed to de­liver changes to the cy­cling ex­pe­ri­ence our re­gion.”

Mr Scott added: “Our one year cy­cle part­ner­ship project will help make cy­cling to work the easy choice for staff, en­abling them to travel more sus­tain­able and ease con­ges­tion and emis­sions in lo­cal road net­works.

“I look for­ward to see­ing the changes that we cre­ate to de­liver a great cy­cling ex­pe­ri­ence, and im­prove em­ployee well­be­ing.”

A study in Fe­bru­ary showed just one in 20 work­ers were cy­cling to Heathrow Air­port who live 5km away, a fig­ure which Heathrow’s busi­ness re­silience man­ager Ray Fitzger­ald la­belled “pretty dis­ap­point­ing”.

n WILL IT TAKE OFF: Cy­cle of­fi­cer Ali Ja­farey is pro­mot­ing the bike, but one staff mem­ber has said ‘treach­er­ous roads’ are a de­ter­rent

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