Tingley workers get on their bikes

Road safety officer Mark Sadler with Capitol Park staff
Road safety officer Mark Sadler with Capitol Park staff

Cyclists of all ages have taken advantage of expert advice at a bike-friendly event held in Tingley.

The Leeds City Connect cycling team set up a stand at the Village Hotel car park to meet members of the public interested in taking up cycling for commuting and leisure purposes.

The session was organised by traffic consultancy firm Bryan G Hall and was backed by the developers of nearby Capitol Park, who are trying to boost cycling to work take-up rates among the 1,600-strong workforce based at the business park site.

It featured a Dr Bike workshop with a cycle mechanic offering free bike MOTs, as well as the chance to have cycling queries answered and to find out more about safe local routes.

Capitol Park’s travel plan co-ordinator was on hand to speak to the site’s tenants and staff about commuting by bike.

Scott Carvel, who cycles 10 miles a day to and from his job at medical device firm DePuy, was one of the employees who took advantage of a health check for his bike.

“This is an excellent initiative. Apart from getting my bike checked for free, it raises the profile of cycling and the benefits of cycling to work. Personally, I get so much out of cycling to work – it’s great for my health and fitness, it gives me independence, it saves money and it’s good for the environment,” he said.

Mike Heydecke, managing director of Capitol Park site owners Sterling Capitol, was pleased with the event’s success.

“We were pleased to host an event which underlined the importance of cycling as a sustainable means of getting to and from work, as well as being part of a healthy lifestyle.

“The success of Capitol Park means that we have more than 1,600 people working here. Although we have car parking spaces on site, we want to encourage more people to come to work on their cycles, because it eases the traffic flow, helps the environment and is good for their health.”

The business park’s workforce even got tips and coaching on safe cycling from Leeds City Council road safety officer Mark Sadler. The day saw a large number of cyclists drop by after organisers Bryan G Hall promoted the event.

“It is extremely important to raise the profile of cycling as an efficient, cheap, healthy and environmentally-friendly method of getting to and from work.

Events like this do exactly that,” said Rachael Bateman from the Leeds-based traffic consultancy.