Keyworkers Lead The Way
(Commuting under Covid.. and afterwards)
Liz: I have been commuting by bike on and off over the last 25 years. (I am a Consultant Anaesthetist who mainly works at the Northern General Hospital.)
Things have changed over the years of actively commuting through junior doctor placements, having a young family, changing jobs, appointment as Consultant, and more recently health and pandemic concerns.
I have become involved in a group of volunteers (STH Active Travel) working with a number of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals managers to try to promote active travel.
Just now, I’d like to thank Cycleboost for their enormous support and encouragement in helping by loaning e-bikes to a number of new commuters to the hospital.
During this busy time of changing rotas and ‘cross-skilling’ to other departments their use has been a godsend. There is a real sense that commuting actively has increased, and we do hope that this will be sustained after the lockdown.
I personally would like to make this an opportunity to encourage more NHS and other keyworkers to actively commute. I would just like to turn something that has been difficult for all, not just the NHS, into a positive.
I would love to see more people safely commuting daily by walking, running or biking in Sheffield. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals as the city’s largest employer can lead by example.
There are some fabulous resources out there to help people to try and get out of car or public transport mode.
Love to Ride’s Ride-Healthy information about cycling under Covid-19 , for example, the local CycleBoost scheme, local campaign group CycleSheffield, and you can make suggestions for improvements on the Sheffield City Region’s Active Travel Map .
My top tips:
- Run, walk or cycle a different route to which you’d come by car or bus transport.
- Start with one or two times a week, gradually increase if and when you feel confident. Use a mix of active, public and liftshare transport initially.
- It’s best to continue all year round if you can as this helps to maintain motivation. I actually enjoy the winter months more and feel the greatest benefit from my active commute then. But be prepared, lights and good clothing especially in the winter are essential.
- Finally be brave, a bit of assertiveness helps. And then inspire others, it will make you feel better and everyone can benefit from moving more. It will save you money, make you feel happier and healthier and possibly save you time too.