dave0992 Posts: 27
edited September 2008 in Road beginners
i am interested to know of peoples experiences of the scheme and also would like advice on how to convince my employer, an NHS hospital to buy into the scheme. i have discovered they are are not that interested yet they always go on about alternative forms of transport as car parking space is tight.

any help would be great, im not the most literate when it comes to writing letters to HR so advice would be more than welcome



  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    It is absolutely disgusting that a National Health Service Trust wouldn't support a scheme designed to get more people on their bikes and potentially be more healthy.

    I work for a NHS Mental Health Trust and they employ the cycle scheme. The health benefits and increased opportunity of social engagement is reason enough. Coupled with the fact that it does alleviate parking congestion and is good for the environment there really is no excuse for them to say no accept the age old "can't accept change" stance you get with some stubborn public sector workers.

    The Cycle2Work scheme would work like any other; salary sacrifice for 12 months up to whatever value the scheme supports (mine is £1000). My advice, contact other NHS Trusts (especially those in the same field as yours) that use the cycle2work scheme using their rationale for employing the scheme to make your case to HR or whoever the decision resides with. No NHS Trust/Hospital likes to be left behind.

    There really isn't any excuse not to support this scheme.

    I'm actually quite peeved at your Trusts stance.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • i agree, im not usually one to complain and write letters but they take this righteos stance on health benefits and so on, even to the extent of suggesting cycling and drawing maps of the best cycle routes (along a busy dual carriage way with parked cars i might add) yet they will not honour the scheme. they are building a multi million pound 2 storey car park though. they did run the home computer initiative which i took part in and it was a fantastic way for me to buy what i couldnt afford otherwise. i think if they went with the scheme, along with other employers, we would see an increase in people cycling to work rather than taking the short 10 minute journeys by car.
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Given the credit crunch, rising fuel costs etc I'm not convinced that a 2 storey car park is an effective use of public money. Especially If its only accessible to staff and patients have to pay to use it (that at the very least would be unethical). Sorry to rant. What Trust is this? Is it a London based Trust? An idea of where your based would help my suggestions. If it is London or City based then they haven't reviewed their options properly i.e. transport links and distance most employees actually travel.

    In fact most intercity public transport infrastructure takes public hospitals into account when planning their route. Given the Governments efforts to reduce emissions caused by vehicles as well as congestion of too many vehicles on the road, that a Trust would actually encourage this and get permission to build a car park and not first employ other cheaper options is poor strategic planning.

    I think you have the following options you may want to use all of the following in order:

    1. Contact other NHS Trusts who use the scheme asking them their rationale to support your case if you choose to write a letter.

    2. Go higher, if your voice isn't heard with the usual lay person take it higher and further.

    3. Start a bicycle user group or BUG. My South London based Mental Health Trust has one. They handle the cycle scheme though I'm not sure how they put the case for it forward but a person on that user group works in HR and took on the responsibility of facilitating the scheme.

    "Fight the Power!"
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • I work for a large NHS hospital in Devon and they are part of the scheme. They had an open day to introduce it to all the staff. Leaflets. e-mail, posters and a rep from LBS. Couldn`t have done more.
    The only downside was the time it took for the voucher to get to the shop - just under 3 weeks. Even more annoying because my old hybrid gave up the ghost totally, so I was bikeless.
    The LBS shop were briliant though, after about a week they knew the voucher was coming and agreed to let me "pay" for the bike on a credit card but never actually cashed it. When the voucher came through, they reimbursed the card money. (interest free purchase so it didn`t cost anything that way either)
    Definately agree with Don though on all three points.
    We have a BUG group at the hospital and they are always glad to listen and help.
    They also have a link to our council highways department where you can report potholes/road damage etc. I`ve used it once for subsidence in a cycle lane and it was sorted within a week.
    Somethings gotta go wrong, `cause I`m felling way too damn good - Nickelback.
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Ask to see their Green Transport Plan, complain to the Local Authority (they have some say in how many parking places they can have, at least they do where I live).
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Go to the the papers....! What? Who said that, I didn't say that. That's in breach of staff/Trust media policy..... :wink:

    Organise a Doctor Bike near whatever bike parking is available in your hospital, this will require the permission of the hospital grounds manager.

    My Trust did it to introduce their cyclescheme along with a lengthy run in the staff e-bulletin and an article on the staff intranet.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Show them positive reports such as this about my employer. It is a university with similar numbers of staff to an NHS trust, good uptake (over 110 applicants so far), and the HR person says how simple it is to administer.
  • Two strands to this 'battle', persuasion then public shaming.

    For persuasion I'd find out how many nearby NHS trusts/boards have a bike2work scheme (also check local council, colleagues, uni etc) if they can all run it why not your HR team? Also check out if you have any leaflets or details on web-site encouraging public to exercise more (or cycle).

    Public shaming - make (or get somone elso to make) Freedom of Information requests for: all documents about encouraging cycling, discussions about car parks, budgets etc etc etc. write articles, ask board members, tell press... generally be a nuisance!
    Be nice to grumpy old men (or else!)
  • i received an email from the transport coordinator today, she seems keen to tra and push it again though it has to go by senior management. i will give it a few weeks then maybe try and speak to them personally. thanks for all your helpfull advice, it just sounds like a really good idea, especially with todays fuel prices end eco warriors etc
  • Don't forget that NHS trusts cannot claim back VAT, and so cannot pass the VAT saving on to you. Therefore your savings under the scheme will be reduced by 17.5%.