West Yorkshire businesses pedal to victory in national cycling awards

West Yorkshire businesses attended an awards ceremony, held at West Yorkshire Combined Authority, to celebrate the achievements of local organisations that are going the extra mile to encourage employees to walk and cycle more.

Successful local organisations included Suma, Npower, University of Huddersfield, BJSS and West Yorkshire Fire Service who picked up an impressive trio of awards, with staff clocking up over 10,000 miles on their bikes in September. Last year’s winner, University of Leeds, put up a valiant defence of their title, but in the end a decisive victory went to West Yorkshire Police with staff amassing an amazing 25,062 miles and achieving national recognition.

Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said:

“By getting involved people in our region have clocked up close to 2 million miles as part of Love to Ride challenges, playing their part in improving the air quality, health, economy and environment of our region.

Congratulations to all businesses in our region that have picked up well-deserved awards, especially West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Fire Service for displaying such enthusiasm, and whose efforts encourage their employees to travel to work healthily and sustainably. They are a fantastic example to other businesses”

A total of 15 businesses were recognised for achieving accreditation as Bike Friendly Businesses, Walk Friendly Workplaces or for topping leader boards in Cycle September. Representatives from Sustrans, Barnardo’s and Sky Betting and Gaming shared their experiences of how they are encouraging staff to overcome barriers to cycling and walking and how CityConnect initiatives have helped them do this.

Also praised at the event were some inspirational individuals, such as Tim from Sky Betting and Gaming who cycled over 800 miles and lost over half a stone in weight, adding to the two stone he’s already lost through cycling this year.

Angela Williams, Assistant Chief Constable at West Yorkshire Police said:

“I’m delighted that West Yorkshire Police officers and staff really got behind this event and congratulate everyone who helped us become Cycle September winners locally in West Yorkshire and place third nationally.

The wellbeing of our staff is hugely important and I’m encouraged to see cycling, running and other really beneficial activity increasing month by month.”

The next Love to Ride challenge starts on Friday 1st December. Every time a participant logs a cycle journey with Love to Ride CityConnect they are entered into a Winter Wheelers prize draw to win that day’s prize. There is cycle clothing, high-quality lights, CityConnect ‘goody bags’, and even a new bike worth £500 up for grabs if they log a ride on Christmas Day itself

Image below shows representatives of West Yorkshire Police receiving their Love to Ride, 1st place award. From left to right Superintendent Sarah Baker, Head of Learning & Development at West Yorkshire Police, Councillor Keith Wakefield, Chair of WYCA Transport Committee, Richard Bamforth, Protective Services Operations manager at West Yorkshire Police and Gemma Colley, Health and Wellbeing Coordinator at West Yorkshire Police.