Stop the War Coalition
Stop the War Coalition

Stop the War Coalition

Cycling in Croydon

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What are BUG's

Bicycle User Groups - or BUG's - first appeared in the late 1980s among the large corporations in Toronto, Canada.

The idea is very simple. A group of people with an interest in cycling get together to devise ways of making the workplace more cycle-friendly. They then put their ideas to the relevant mangers and work with them to bring about the necessary changes. The BUG idea reached Britain in 1993 when Simon Carpenter and Martin Wallis started a group at Frenchay Healthcare Trust. More than 4,500 people work for the Trust and a survey carried out by Bug members showed that many of them would consider cycling to work if conditions were improved.

One of the first issues to be addressed was cycle security Simon Carpenter explains: Although Frenchay Hospital is an open site. cycle theft was not a major problem. nevertheless staff identified the need for good Cycle parking as a key priority. The BUG, working with the Estates Manager, arranged for Sheffield stands to be installed al prominent locations across the hospital site.'

A shortage of showers was another problem to be tackled by the BUG. Ironically, the hospital actually had a number of showers but many staff did not know where they were. The solution was to compile a register. Now staff can identify the showers and changing facilities closest to their workplace.

As well as improving the infrastructure for existing cyclists. the BUG also tries to convert non-cyclists. With grant aid from Project Bike, Frenchay has acquired a small fleet of bikes available for staff to use on the hospital site and these may also be loaned for a weekend or a short holiday period Anyone using their own bike on Trust business receives a mileage allowance: 40p for the first two miles and 14p for each additional mile. A further incentive was provided in June this year when a number of staff agreed to cycle, rather than drive, to work. They received a œ50 bonus at the end of the month and Simon Carpenter reports that three quarters of the participants continue to cycle.

Ultimately, the Trust would like to see 10% of its staff cycling or walking to work Simon is confident that the target will be met: "We've shown that If the conditions are right, people will leave their cars at home and use alternative forms of travel.'

Last updated 04 December 2000