Hospital hopes new bike stands will help cut car park queues and costs

The hospital has installed 34 bike stands. Picture: NNUH

The hospital has installed 34 bike stands. Picture: NNUH - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk hospital is hoping visitors and staff will swap four wheels for two after installing more than 30 new bicycle stands.

Paul Jones, Chief People Officer at NNUH, and Mark Wilson, ESE Direct Sales manager, Picture: NNUH

Paul Jones, Chief People Officer at NNUH, and Mark Wilson, ESE Direct Sales manager, Picture: NNUH - Credit: Archant

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has introduced 34 bicycle stands near the east and west inpatients entrances, which it hopes will help cut car park queues and costs.

The hospital has faced criticism due to escalating parking costs (a 30-minute to two-hour stay costs £3) and pressure to offer purse-friendly options.

The first 10 stands were donated by ESE Direct, a business supplies company in Norfolk, and were returned stock.

But they proved such a hit that a further 24 were funded by the hospital's charity.

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Dale Jackson, facilities project manager, said: "We were delighted when ESE Direct offered us 10 free cycle hoops and we were grateful that following this donation the charity supported the scheme and provided further funding."

The stands are also part of a wider initiative to encourage green travel and healthy commuting across the city and at the NNUH.

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Mark Wilson, ESE Direct sales manager, said: "The hospital has an initiative to encourage staff to cycle to work so we offered them to the facilities department and they were appreciative as it fitted with what they needed on the site."

The hospital is on the pink pedalway route, which is one of seven new bicycle routes across the city born from a £14.1m funding project called Cycle City Ambition.

The pink pedalway is an eight-mile stretch which heads through UEA, then crosses the city centre to Heartsease and Broadland.

And the route's impact on the number of cyclists has been noticed by hospital staff.

Paul Jones, chief people officer at NNUH, said: 'We're keen to encourage cyclists and the numbers are steadily increasing - especially in summer."

However, the influx of bikes had been a challenge for the hospital as they lacked safe bike parking spaces.

Mr Jackson said: "The donation was timely as we needed more places to leave bikes since they were being locked to trees and lamp posts which is obviously not a good idea as they can block the footpaths."

Mr Wilson said: "There are cycle storage products available that can suit every need, from a simple wall-mounted cycle rack to vertical hanging racks."

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