Staff benefits: cycling

Ed Wigzell travel officer

Ed, can you tell us about your relationship with Oxford and how your passion for sustainability began?

I joined the University of Oxford in 2002 and have enjoyed working on various sustainability projects ever since. In the 1990s I worked as a research assistant at Imperial College on some interesting projects, looking at the impact of air pollution on human health. I think it was probably then that I realised that sustainable transport was a great area to work in.

The Sustainability team aims to encourage all of our staff to make the ultimate sustainable travel choice – walking or cycling to work and in and around Oxford whenever possible. Part of my role is to help make this easier for everyone to achieve.

I enjoy walking but haven’t cycled for years – I’m rustier than my bike – how does the free cycle training work?

All staff and students can book up to six hours of free training. It covers basic bike handling skills for total beginners and goes through to advanced skills for cycling in challenging traffic situations.

The training is delivered by Broken Spoke and is accredited to the national cycle proficiency standard Bikeability. The training is designed to make you feel safe and confident while using your bike on the roads. Read the reviews on the booking site to see if you feel it is something you would benefit from.

Our webpage also details information about quiet cycle routes into the centre from the Park & Ride sites.

I’ve heard you also offer ways to keep bikes secure and in good repair – what does that look like please?

Illustration showing how to lock a bike securely

We work with two local companies to provide staff with a mobile bike repair service for punctures, brakes, cables, gears and lights. As long as you use your bike for work purposes then there is no charge for the labour, just for any new parts that are needed. And to help you keep your bike safe, discounted bike U-locks and lights can be purchased through the University shop.

Visit the Bike repair and security page for full details.

Going back to my rusty bike – is there any help available to get a new one?

Yes, watch this space. An interest-free loan is currently available along with discounts at some local bike shops. And soon we’ll be sharing details of a new salary sacrifice scheme for the purchase of a new bike and safety equipment. Keep an eye on our travel pages, the Staff Gateway and University Bulletin for updates.

Where is your favourite place to cycle in or around the city?

I always enjoy cycling along the Marston cycle path. I think it is an excellent example of what can be achieved when the University and the local authorities work together.

Visit the university's Travel pages for more details.

Cyclists in Cornmarket 1920-1930

Cyclists in Cornmarket Street 1920-1930 - courtesy Oxfordshire History Centre