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Poll

What bicycle do you ride on, to your NHS workplace?

All about cycling..
1. Tourer
 
14% (1 votes)
2. Mountain Bike
 
0% (0 votes)
3. Racer
 
0% (0 votes)
4. Folding Bike
 
0% (0 votes)
5. Hybrid Bike
 
86% (6 votes)
6. Electric Bike
 
0% (0 votes)
7. A Trike
 
0% (0 votes)
8. recumbent bicycle
 
0% (0 votes)
9. Cargo bike
 
0% (0 votes)
10. eCargo bike
 
0% (0 votes)
11. Vintage Bike pre 1980's
 
0% (0 votes)
 

Bicycle User Groups

How to set up a BUG (Bicycle User Group) for your NHS organisation

Setting up a Bicycle User group


Bicycle Users Groups are a good way to boost cycling in your organisation. Alexander Ford asked me to write a few words about how I set up a BUG at our trust recently so here goes;

Setting up a BUG is easy and provides a simple way for your fellow cyclists to communicate ideas and concerns to those in your organisation responsible for transport facilities and policy. I set up (resurrected) a BUG in our large teaching trust about a year ago. We have been able to talk directly to relevant managers, collect and disseminate information about cycling such as secure parking. Further we have not only raised concerns: chasing improvements has been easier using the minutes of previous meetings as transport managers have much else to do besides cater for cyclists and things can easily slip off their to-do lists.

On the downside becoming the focus for cyclists and management in your organisation can become time consuming - you start to receive emails from anyone and everyone who has something bike-related to relate or ask. Forwarding email enquiries alone can take time especially if you are unsure as to who deals with tax-free bike purchase schemes or gets leaky showers fixed (although you soon learn and this gets quicker).
 
I have tried to deal with this by the use of a web-based bulletin board (set up by Q-Active a staff health promotion initiative in our Trust) but also by reducing the number of emails I send to members and including any news boiled down into the few I do send as bullet points (everyone gets too much email these days - no need to add to it unnecessarily).
 
For example I now sit on our Transport Strategy Group and can let BUG members know if relevant items are discussed, what changes are on the horizon and put forward a cyclist's view.
 
Some people must be reading my witterings. Our Trust recently adding a swipe card access compound to our existing secure parking facilities. For weeks I was the only person using it but after mentioning it in the minutes of BUG meeting other bikes began to appear.

So in summary - what works?

- Use an email list and keep it updated (your IT department may help with a dedicated address e.g. BUG@... although mine refused! Posters etc are ok but take a lot of time to put up and replace – out of date posters look naff but include a contact address or number and a generic BUG invite so that at least there is some useful info even when the poster goes out of date.

- Use word of mouth and other ways of spreading info e.g. bulletin boards if available or a trust newsletter

- Invite outside speakers and members of the Trust with specific responsibilities e.g. security.

Finally make sure you, your cycling colleagues and especially your Trust and its managers understand what a BUG really is: a forum so that cycling employees and management can get together and share information.
 
 
If managers think that it’s just a place for lonely cyclists to make friends or talk about punctures they'll not use it to its full potential i.e. as a way to hear new ideas, disseminate info and harness the contributions towards easing transport problems that cycling employees can make (especially new converts). If cyclists think a BUG can somehow force change upon managers or that moaning in person or via email is as effective as constructive ideas and real involvement in the problems then they will quickly switch off the management and the BUG organiser too!


So don't wait for you Trust to set up a BUG for you and make sure they understand that you are doing a favour for them as well as your fellow pedalers!