Sustrans has created the Cycles for Key Workers map to make cycling easier for NHS staff and other key workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The online map shows offers on bike purchasing and hire, equipment, repairs and maintenance available to key workers in their local area. It also lists bike stores which are remaining open during the lockdown, following the Government’s announcement that bicycle shops are excluded from the list of retail businesses that must close.
The map has a function to view and search businesses and schemes by a location name and postcode areas. The information resource also features links to cycling and walking tips and other useful content.
Around 40% of the UK workforce are classed by the UK Government as key workers, including NHS employees, cleaners, carers and supermarket workers.
Susie Dunham, development director at Sustrans, whose husband works for the NHS, said: “In the COVID-19 crisis, cycling is critical for many key workers to get to and from work each day. The online map was created with the needs of key workers in mind and we hope it will prove useful for everyone needing to cycle to work, be it an experienced commuter who may need a spare part or a novice who needs access to a cycle.
“An average commute is five miles – a distance that can be easily cycled in less than 30 minutes. It’s fantastic to see how the cycling industry has come together to support the people who are working so hard to get us through this crisis.”
The initiative is supported by the transport sector and the Department for Transport.
“Many of the UK’s key workers rely on public transport at a time we need them to stay safe, so it shouldn’t surprise us thousands are turning to the bicycle to get to work,” said Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner.
“I’m so pleased Sustrans, with the backing of all major bicycle organisations, came together to help turn the small acts of kindness from those in the industry, into a national movement to aid key workers. Be it for exercise or essential journeys, the bicycle is playing its part in helping us through this crisis and beyond.”
Walking and cycling minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: “Many people who cannot work from home cycle to and from work, and it’s important we do everything we can to make their journeys easy, so they can concentrate on their essential jobs.
“Cycle for Key Workers is a great initiative which will help people find nearby cycle shops, bikes and equipment – as well as money-saving deals – so they’re able to travel during these unprecedented times.”
If you have an offer for key workers or your bike store is open during the pandemic and it’s not listed on the Cycles for Key Workers map, fill in the form here.