EMPLOYEES at a Haydock company are swapping horsepower for pedalpower, as they leave their cars at home and opt to cycle into work.
They are taking the healthy route to their jobs, as part of a major drive in St Helens to encourage people to choose more environmentally friendly ways of travelling.
St Helens Council has now unveiled plans for an environmentally-friendly business boost – using £4 million of specially allocated Government money to help the local economy grow by developing a sustainable transport network.
Three successful grant bids have given St Helens a share of the £25 million given to Merseyside as a whole, under the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF).
Key objective of the grant is to help the local economy grow, while cutting harmful carbon emissions. St Helens Chamber is also playing a leading role in the project – liaising with local businesses and emphasising the benefits of sustainable transport.
Walking, cycling and public transport will be heavily promoted as never before under the project.
And Aerosol, one of the first to sign up for the new campaign, was praised by Councillor Barrie Grunewald, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for urban regeneration, housing and culture.
“The programme will reduce congestion and its impact on the environment, yet at the same time enhance our growth potential,” he said.
“It’s is all about improving mobility, equal opportunity and access to employment for local communities. But in reality it goes much deeper than that – by encouraging behavioural change and making it easier for people to shift to smarter, sustainable modes of transport.”
In both Haydock and Lea Green industrial estates things are already happening.
New cycle pathways have already been created along Millfield Lane and Kilbuck Lane and secure cycle shelters installed at the premises of local employers.
Employers, too, are embracing the notion.
Director of Aeorosol Ltd Jim Simpson said: “Many of our staff choose to cycle to work and the new cycle shelters are really well used”.
Eventually the project’s benefits will extend across the borough.
AS part of the programme the council will be:
- Helping employees to access job opportunities when conventional public transport is not available
- Making life easier for cyclists and pedestrians with better traffic signals, cycle lanes, pavements and signs improvements along the East Lancs Road, St Helens Linkway, A58 and A572
- Encouraging more people to get on their bikes – with better cycling paths linked to car parks along with cycle training to make it easier to get to work
- Giving young people, residents with disabilities and first time public transport users the confidence – and information – they need to make greater use of buses and trains
- Boosting green tourism – with new cycling routes and facilities, taking in the Rainford Linear Park, Bold Forest Park and other tourist attractions
- Working with the growing logistics sector to promote sustainable logistics practices