Enfield Council has partnered with North Middlesex University Hospital to encourage and enable NHS key workers to walk and cycle safely in the area through a series of projects and initiatives.
North Middlesex Hospital University (NMUH) is one of the largest employers in Enfield with almost 4,000 staff. The hospital is accessed by hundreds of patients and visitors each day and is in a busy area with high volumes of motor traffic. Through the Journeys and Places programme, Enfield Council has collaborated with NMUH to enable NHS key workers to safely walk and cycle to work.
The partnership began with the presentation of proposals for the North Middlesex Hospital to A1010 South Walking and Cycling Route project. This was in line with the hospital’s goals of supporting active travel for staff, and from here further ideas were shared and developed together. Through collaboration, we have been able to innovate and deliver impactful solutions for NMUH staff to walk and cycle to work, including a regular monthly Dr Bike service, a bespoke cycling hub, a staff bike loan trial supported by non-profit Recirculate, and delivery of two walking and cycling infrastructure projects to connect the hospital with other cycling routes in the borough and to the south in Haringey.
The relationship has resulted in better outcomes for walking and cycling in the area, projects that people enjoy using and being a part of, and a higher uptake of cycling to work by NMUH staff. It has also enhanced communication and collaboration between the Council and emergency services who are a key stakeholder in our Journeys and Places projects.
Working in partnership, we have taken a comprehensive approach to enable more NMUH staff to travel to work by walking and cycling by addressing barriers including lack of secure bike storage and changing facilities, access to a bike and safe walking and cycling routes.
The bespoke cycling hub
The cycling hub was designed with NMUH to feature washing and changing facilities, lockers, secure bike storage for 56 bikes. and a drying area. The project was the first NHS project funded by TfL and features a design that celebrates the health and wellbeing benefits of cycling. Watch the video on the cycling hub here.
staff at NMUH now use the cycling hub facility and have provided positive feedback that they had not previously considered travelling to work using their bike and the hub encouraged them to do so, and that the hub is an inviting and safe space.
Staff bike loan trial
The bike loan trial showcases the benefits of cycling to work and rewards participants by giving them a bike and accessories to keep upon completion. As part of a pilot project, four women who are NMUH staff have received cycle training and cycling accessories from the Journeys and Places programme, and cycle route planning and a bike donated by Londra Bisiklet Kulubu (Edmonton Cycling Campaign) to support them to travel actively to work. NMUH also provided each participant a space in the cycling hub and provided ongoing support and advice. The participants were asked to log their journeys throughout the three-month trial and have provided positive feedback. Upon successful completion of the trial, participants will receive a refurbished bike from ReCirculate. Read the press release on the trial here.
Monthly Dr Bike for staff
The free monthly Dr Bike service was started in response to demand for cycling facilities at the hospital and offers flexible bookings or drop-in bike repairs for staff. Held each month for a 4-hour session, the Dr Bike service allows staff to either book a time or drop-off their bikes for repair by Dr Bike mechanics whilst they are at work.
Nearby walking and cycling routes
Through engagement with the hospital, the Council have developed new cycleways to connect the hospital into the evolving borough wide network. This includes the provision of segregated cycle tracks and new crossings to make walking and cycling safer. As a result of this work, the hospital is now connected to Cycleway 1; a key route that connects it with the rest of the borough and provides links into central London. These projects included engagement with the wider community via our online engagement hub.
A1010 South to North Middlesex University Hospital Walking and Cycling Route and North Middlesex University Hospital Active Travel Improvements Project
The A1010S to NMUH project resulted in a traffic reduction of 35% across the project area, and an increase in cycling journeys by 98%. With the proposed active travel route that will extend along Bull Lane N18 and provide a future connection with Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1) in Haringey (North Middlesex Hospital Active Travel Improvements project), there is the potential to maintain and build upon this upward trend. Monitoring data at the three monitored sites that form part of the A1010S to NMUH route indicated an overall increase in cycling journeys by 98%.
With the proposed active travel route that will extend along Bull Lane N18 and provide a future connection with Cycle Superhighway 1 (CS1) in Haringey (‘North Middlesex Hospital Active Travel Improvements’ project), there is the potential to maintain and build upon this upward trend.
To resurface Bull Lane, we used Hanson’s energy reducing asphalt with proprietary additives. The energy reducing asphalt saves 4.29t of CO2 emitted or equivalent to driving 15,993 miles in a diesel family car. The proprietary additives reduce NO2 equivalent of taking approximately 50 cars of the road and particulate matter (PM10) as planting approximately 20 trees.
Through ongoing communication including site visits and meeting with businesses, we were able to better understand their needs and revise the design to better cater for everyone in the local area, whilst also delivering on the aims of the projects.
Close collaboration with the emergency services during the construction of cycling and walking infrastructure on the roads surround the hospital was vital, ensuring continued access to the A&E department.
Traffic and cycle volumes, speeds, air quality, and other data will continue to be monitored in the surrounding project area after the North Middlesex Hospital Active Travel Improvements project is implemented. The document which sets out the monitoring and evaluation that will be undertaken can be found in the project Monitoring Plan which is publicly available on the project page.
NMUH staff have supported the new route and expanding the walking and cycling network near to the hospital. The NMUH Active Travel Improvements Project is still in construction. We will be collecting cycle counts along the full route once this has been completed.
Continuing our partnership
Collaboration has been at the heart of partnership with the NMUH. We have worked closely with the hospital, from Council officers meeting with different hospital departments, to the Deputy Leader of the Council meeting with the CEO of NMUH., had monthly meetings with emergency services to ensure their access needs are met and comments considered in designs for the projects, and procured partners who share our commitment to sustainability whilst ensuring our funding partner, Transport for London, is engaged in and aligned with the goals of the projects.
Our partnership with NMUH has also led to them incorporating sustainable travel and our continued partnership in their NHS Trust Green Plan 2021-2026 (see paragraphs 28-29 of the project report). We look forward to continuing our partnership with the NMUH in the coming years to support more staff and people in the local area to travel safely by walking, wheeling and cycling.