ROLLING: Business workers are giving riding to work a big push. City of Greater Bendigo’s Andrew Cockerall leads the charge in a ride. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY.
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GREATER Bendigo’s transport planning is gathering support from big business with hundreds of workers opting for more green-friendly travel options.
The drive to have people catch a bus or ride to work, or use a bicycle as alternative transport to attend meetings within the central business district, is part of the City of Greater Bendigo’s Integrated Transport & Land Use Strategy (ITLUS). The strategy considers how the city will grow and how people and goods will move within it in the future.
In the move to create a more urban CBD, the cityhas purchased 14 bikes for staff to use to attend meetings.
City strategy manager Trevor Budge said the council started with four bikes in an initial 12-month trial. A successful take up by staff resulted in another 10 bicycles being purchased. The plan gaveemployees transport options that aligned with the organisation’s corporate social responsibility.
“Rather than walk the talk we are riding the talk,”hesaid. “In the bike fleet we included one that is a three-wheeler that can be used by staff who are not as confident on a two-wheeler,” Mr Budge said.
“It’s estimated in the greenhouse gases saved, we demonstrated that council could sell one vehicle from its car fleet to save some dollars; and from a fitness point of view we now have up to 50 staff regularly using the bikes, which is great to see.”
Bendigo Adelaide Bank environment and sustainability spokesperson Joshua Pell said his organisation was fully supportive of the city’s plan to have more bikes on roads. The number of bank staff riding to work regularly was on the increase, he said.
“It’s great to see people in business attire riding to work or doing laps of the city during the day. It’s encouraging to see that there are other alternatives to getting to work, other than driving a car.”
Mr Pell said bike and locker facilities had been upgraded at The Bank Centre since it opened seven years ago.
“We constantly analyse demand and address needs to expand facilities when necessary. We had an initial bike rack for 50, but we filled that within the first week; and have doubled in size since,” he said.“With more than 1000 people in this building we want to do our bit to ease congestion in the area. Parking can be expensive and we are a firm believer of what ITLUS can achieve for the region. We want our employees to be consistent in their approach to use more environmentally friendly forms of transport.”
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