Key workers across Devon can now find cycle-related offers and locate bike stores that are open in their local area, with a live online map launched today.
The map was compiled by the walking and cycling charity Sustrans to make cycling easier for key workers as they travel to and from work each day during Covid-19.
A single repository of information, the map displays four different types of pins for each kind of offer, including: access to a bike; repairs and maintenance; equipment and gear; and for bike stores that remain open across the UK. The map has a function to view and search by name and postcode areas.
The information resource also features links to cycling and walking tips, and other useful content.
Around 40% of the UK workforce are classed by the UK Government as key workers, including NHS employees, cleaners, carers and supermarket workers.
Following the UK-wide lockdown announced by the Government last month, bicycle shops were one of the few retailers listed by the Government to remain open, if they wish to, to ensure transport for key workers and last-mile deliveries can be maintained.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the cycling industry has come together to provide assistance and offers on cycles and services to key workers to say thank you for their invaluable work in these difficult times.
James Cleeton, Sustrans’ Director for the South of England, said: “In the Covid-19 crisis, cycling is critical for many key workers to get to and from work each day. The online map was created with the needs of key workers in mind and we hope it will prove useful for everyone needing to cycle to work, be it an experienced commuter who may need a spare part or a novice who needs access to a cycle.
“An average commute is five miles – a distance that can be easily cycled in less than 30 minutes. It’s fantastic to see how the cycling industry has come together to support the people who are working so hard to get us through this crisis.”
The initiative is supported by the transport sector and the Department for Transport.
Rachel Aldred, Reader in Transport at the University of Westminster, said: “I welcome this initiative helping make cycling more accessible for key workers and others making essential journeys.
“Cycling is a healthy mode of transport that can serve many such trips while being compatible with physical distancing. I’d like to see government and transport authorities doing their bit to enable safer cycling, as in Bogota where a large network of temporary cycle tracks has been quickly put in place to support essential trips.”
Walking and Cycling Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Many people who cannot work from home cycle to and from work, and it’s important we do everything we can to make their journeys easy, so they can concentrate on their essential jobs.
“Cycles for Key Workers is a great initiative which will help people find nearby cycle shops, bikes and equipment - as well as money-saving deals – so they’re able to travel during these unprecedented times.”
Key workers who want to find out about cycling related offers or need access to a bike to get to work during the pandemic should visit Cycles for Key Workers: www.sustrans.org.uk/keyworkers
If you have an offer for Key Workers or your bike store is open during the pandemic and it’s not listed on the Cycles for Key Workers map, fill in the form https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/cycleoffers.