Commuters in Northern Ireland are being urged to leave the car at home and cycle to work as part of Bike2Work week, which begins today.
The Department for Regional Development’s Roads Service in Northern Ireland is spearheading the campaign that it says will bring health, financial and environmental benefits to workers.
The campaign also promotes the benefits to business. It claims employees who exercise on their way to work can be more productive.
The event comes as research by the Men’s Health Forum showed that three-quarters of males will be overweight in five years time. The study also claims that up to two-thirds of women will be overweight by 2010.
Denis O’Hagan, head of the Roads Service transportation unit, told the Belfast Telegraph that cycling isn’t just for young people or for enthusiasts, it also makes sound financial sense for businesses.
“Many people would use the nature of their job as an excuse not to cycle, so we have decided to lead by example in implementing a ‘pool bike’ initiative,” he said. “It will be a more economical and environmentally-friendly and, above all, a more sustainable alternative to taking the car for short journeys across Belfast for meetings.”