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Northumbria NHS chief exec leads the way

Thursday, 03 July, 2014
Northumbria NHS chief exec leads the way

The chief executive of one of the region’s health trusts used pedal power to get to work to help promote the benefits of cycling as part of UK Bike Week.

Jim Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, took to two wheels for his daily commute, with support from leading UK charity Sustrans, to encourage staff to give it a go as part of the national celebration of cycling which runs until 22 June.

Jim rode from his home to Northumbria Healthcare’s offices at Cobalt Business Park in North Shields with Sustrans Smarter Choices co-ordinator, Karl McCracken.

Their route followed quieter side roads, avoiding the queued traffic that often hinders the same car journey.

Jim said: “Choosing to commute by bike is a great way to get more exercise into our already busy lives. I enjoyed the ride to work and arrived feeling energised, ready to tackle the day ahead.

“Despite a busy day I was able to appreciate being outside on the journey home, soaking up my surroundings. It was much more pleasant than my usual commute to and from work and I’d highly recommend giving it a go.”

Bike Week is an annual opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by encouraging everyday cycling for everyone.

The trust, which manages hospitals and community health services in North Tyneside and hospitals, community health and adult social care services in Northumberland, encourages its staff to take part in physical activity and lead a healthy lifestyle.

It is also committed to sustainability, urges its staff to think about alternative forms of transport and promotes cycling, having recently invested in improved cycling facilities for its 9,000-plus staff.

Karl said: “These journeys are ideal to travel by bike, often quicker and cheaper than travelling the same distance by car. Choosing to commute by bike is a great way to be more active day-to-day, which rapidly increases health and feelings of wellbeing.

“We’ll be working with the trust and many other workplaces across the region to encourage more staff to follow Jim’s lead and give cycling a go.”

Bike Week aims to get people to give cycling a go all over the UK, whether this be for fun, as a means of getting around to the local shops, school, the library or just to visit friends.