Cycle scheme riding high after picking up excellence award - The Worcester Observer

Cycle scheme riding high after picking up excellence award

Rob George 18th Feb, 2021   0

A CITY-WIDE scheme to get more people cycling has been recognised with an International CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Excellence Award.

Woo Bikes, a partnership pilot e-bike scheme, led by the University of Worcester alongside Worcester City Council, Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, was honoured with a silver award for its efforts to encourage people to move around the local area more sustainably.

The awards, run by The Green Organisation, reward companies, councils and communities for their efforts to be a realistic force for good and change for the better and involved more than 500 nominations in 2020.

The Woo Bikes scheme, which consists of 50 electric bikes (e-bikes), expanded on the University’s own long-running pedal bike share scheme. When launched in 2018, it was one of the country’s largest city-wide e-bike share schemes and began as a University-based scheme for staff and students and has since expanded to include several local businesses and organisations.

Awards judges praised the scheme for encouraging residents to ‘get on their bikes’ and consider an e-bike as a replacement for cars when commuting.

Professor David Green CBE, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, said: “This award reflects our wider commitment to sustainability and to encouraging people to find alternative ways to get around.

“We have long worked with our many partners in education, business and public services, to promote practical change, planning, education, and research in order to cut carbon emissions and make an even bigger contribution to benefit the people and the planet.”

Coun Andy Stafford, vice chair of Worcester City Council’s Environment Committee, said: “Worcester City Council is committed to ensuring the city is carbon-neutral by 2030 and we have just adopted a detailed Environmental Sustainability Strategy, setting out a roadmap for how we will work to achieve this.

“The Woo Bikes scheme is a great example of how local authorities, the education sector and businesses can work together to achieve the level of sustainability we all need to deliver, and I am very happy to see our leadership in this area being recognised in the CSR Excellence Awards.”

Coun John Smith, cabinet member for Health and Well-being at Worcestershire County Council, said: “This is a fantastic and very well-deserved achievement for everyone involved in Woo Bikes.

“It’s great this e-bike scheme has been recognised by this prestigious award, this kind of acknowledgement will add to Worcester’s growing reputation as a healthy and active city.

“Woo Bikes provide a convenient, low cost, healthy option for getting around Worcester.”

The award comes as Woo Bikes was awarded an £18,000 grant to further the project through the Net Zero Innovation fund, which is delivered in collaboration between the Local Government Association and University College London and aims to bring councils and universities together to develop practical projects to address local challenges.

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