Cycling to work on Bradford’s Canal Road Cycleway: Meet Hawarun Hussain

People often talk about “cyclists”, “pedestrians”, “train passengers”, “bus passengers”, “motorists”, but in reality the majority of us are none of these things. We’re simply people travelling on foot, by bike, train, bus or car, opting for different modes of transport at different times.

Bradford Canal Road Cycleway
Hawarun on the Canal Road Cycleway in Bradford

In the same vein you don’t have to be a “cyclist” to cycle to work and what’s more it doesn’t require an unwavering commitment to cycling to work every day of the week.

Hawarun Hussain works at NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is one of our bronze Bike Friendly Businesses, receiving expert advice and support on how it can be more cycling friendly.

Sandwiched between one end of the Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway and one end of Bradford’s Canal Road Cycleway, the CCG offices at Scorex House, Bolton Road, are in a good location for people travelling by bike.

Thanks to our £4,880 grant staff have access to four electric pool bikes.

We caught up with Hawarun to hear how our Canal Road Cycleway, combined with having access to an e-bike, has helped shake up her commute.

Years and years back, our offices were on Manchester Road.  I bought a bike, cycled to work once and I never did it again.  

I was working in Leeds up until June this year and when I came back to work in Bradford the Canal Road Cycleway had just opened.

We also had the pool e-bikes in the office and I thought “I’m going to give this a go”, because I don’t have to worry about the hills or arriving sweaty.

Building confidence

I live in Saltaire, so commuting by bike is fabulous because of the route and I’m not just saying that. 

Once I’m on the cycleway I’m totally confident a car isn’t going to hit me because there’s a kerb between the route and the traffic. 

I like the route and it really works for me, as someone who’s new to cycling, this opportunity has given my confidence a surge.

Small changes can make a world of difference

I don’t cycle to work every day.  I do it at least twice a week and when I can I like to do it on a third day too. 

On Monday’s I take the car to work. I bring a few days-worth of food I’ve batch cooked at the weekend and I like my heels so I bring a few different pairs of shoes in, a smart jacket and a couple of scarves.  This means on the days I do cycle I haven’t got lots of things to carry.

Cycling to work saves me time and money.  It takes me a similar amount of time to get to work in the morning by bike as it does in the car and in the evening it’s much quicker to cycle than to drive. 

Although it’s not my main reason for doing it, I also save money on parking when I cycle in. 

Hawarun’s advice to others?

I've been telling everyone to use the route, "try it once and if you don't like it that's fine but just have a go".