BikeRight! Choose Freedom
The Choose Freedom programme, funded through LSTF, has been giving practical help and support to residents across Everton, Kirkdale, Speke and Garston, by providing sustainable access to employment. This includes travel advice and training, travel passes, personalised travel plans and access to Bike to Work. Over the course of the project, hundreds of people have been supported to lead more active and healthier lifestyles and build their skills and confidence.
This has not only allowed more people to access employment but also, in some cases, to start their own business. For example, Kim Porter from Everton took part in a basic maintenance course and has now become a qualified cycle mechanic. She is already thinking about how she can turn her new skills into a business by building and restoring vintage and bespoke bikes for weddings. For more information on all the outreach activity and travel support go to www.choosefreedom.org.uk
Citybike, partly funded through LSTF and launched in May is now the largest cycle hire scheme in the country outside London and still growing with plans for 1,000 bikes at more than 100 locations by 2015. There have been over 35,000 citybike hires in Liverpool to date.
Hi-tech games developer Lucid, based in the Baltic Triangle, is one of the first firms in the city to take advantage of the scheme’s corporate membership. As a result more than half of the company’s 36 staff use citybikes regularly for leisure as well as the daily commute.
The citybike corporate membership scheme is open to any businesses across the city. Employer benefits include reducing carbon emissions by choosing a sustainable travel option, saving money on short trips, not having to worry about finding a parking space and promoting health and wellbeing for staff. For regular citybike membership, visit www.citybikeliverpool.co.uk or call 0151 374 2034.
LSTF has also focussed strongly on creating jobs and Merseytravel’s Employment & Skills team have succeeded in reaching the milestone of creating 200 jobs in the transport sector. The project aimed to raise the standard of pre-employment training delivered to new transport sector employees. Major employers such as Arriva, Stagecoach, Morson Group and Stena Line, were all involved. To recruit for attitude and train for skill, Merseytravel have developed Job Centre Plus’s Sector Based Work Academy model to meet the needs of the employers and create sustainable opportunities for unemployed Liverpool City Region people.
The results so far have been impressive. The scheme has saved £615,000 in job seekers allowance and universal credit over 3 year period. Sustainability of people in employment is also great news with 86% still in employment after 3 months and 89% of these after 6 months.
For more information on LSTF go to www.merseytravel.gov.uk/Pages/Welcome.aspx
Giant Store Liverpool
Giant Store Liverpool, based on Parliament Street in the Baltic Triangle is a family owned independent bike shop which supports individuals and organisations who wish to cycle. The team at Giant have worked with the Chamber to promote LSTF, recognising opportunities to support their existing promotional activities, particularly with their neighbours in the Baltic Triangle, for example running local workshops to promote cycling including free bike maintenance sessions.
Jonathan Trigg, one of the owners, is keen to explore ways in which they can encourage more people to make cycling part of their everyday routine. "People ride for all sorts of reasons; to get fit and lose weight or find a cheaper and quicker commute to work. It is great for all those reasons but I ride because it's fun! If you are thinking of giving it a try then come down and try out the bike that is perfect for you and your lifestyle. For more information visit Giant Store Liverpool at http://www.giant-liverpool.co.uk/en-GB/
SYMPHONY- EV is a local company supplying and installing all brands of electric vehicles and charging points. They have been at the forefront of electric vehicle promotion in Merseyside working with local authorities as well as private clients to provide vehicles and install charging points. These include Knowsley Safari Park, Sefton Council, Merseytravel and Wirral Council. A real high point was being involved in the Giants spectacular which took place in Liverpool last summer.
John Robinson, Director, has been a keen supporter of LSTF, working with the Chamber to promote the scheme and providing both conventional and electric bikes to set up pool bike schemes across the city to reduce business travel costs as well as providing a healthier alternative to the car. They have just supplied Liverpool FC with an electric charging point and electric pool vehicles including an electric bike to support their Reds Go Green project. For more details go to http://www.symphonyev.co.uk/
Health@Work is an independent charity working with organisations to create healthier and ultimately happier workforces. Their primary aim is to achieve a culture change which can have a real impact on productivity, staff absence and the overall success of an organisation. Health@Work themselves benefitted from LSTF and Frances Molloy, Chief Executive is delighted with the outcomes “LSTF fits our ethos perfectly! As a result of the support we received from the Chamber, there has been a reduction in our travel costs particularly for business travel. It has also acted as real spur to us all to become more active, particularly through our Hit the Ground Running in 2015 programme.” Health@Work were also very successful in promoting LSTF to the organisations they were working with. Sean Corcoran, a consultant with the company said “Linking our work with employers to the work the Chamber was doing was obviously a winner for all involved, maximising the impact of both projects.” See what support is available at http://www.healthatworkcentre.org.uk/