New wheels for West Herts NHS nurses as rail firm donates unclaimed bikes

PUBLISHED: 11:19 29 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:46 29 September 2020

Nurse Jane O'Connor is the first winner of six bikes abandoned at Thameslink stations that have been refurbished. Picture: Supplied

Nurse Jane O'Connor is the first winner of six bikes abandoned at Thameslink stations that have been refurbished. Picture: Supplied

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Rail firm Thameslink has donated six bikes which were abandoned and unclaimed at railway stations across its network to West Herts NHS nurses, in partnership with St Albans district council and St Albans Cycle Campaign (STACC).

St Albans City Hospital nurse Jane O’Connor is the first proud winner of a restored and donated bicycle, and received her new wheels at a presentation attended by St Albans MP Daisy Cooper.

Five colleagues across West Herts NHS will be picked in further draws.

Jane said: “I’m looking forward to cycling to work. Cycling has so many benefits, including mental, physical health and wellbeing.

“It also has environmental benefits, plus there is the pleasure of riding a bike.”

Tom Moran, managing director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “It’s fantastic working with our partners to support Hertfordshire hospital staff at this challenging time.

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“As key workers ourselves, we’re proud to be supporting NHS staff in the communities we serve.”

Cllr Chris White, leader of St Albans district council and portfolio holder for climate, environment and transport, said: “This is an excellent initiative that I am pleased the council is involved with along with our partners.

“It is very much in keeping with our priorities of encouraging people to use green transport to reduce harmful emissions and to take exercise. It’s also a marvellous way for us to thank local NHS staff for all they have done to protect our community from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Rona Wightman, secretary of STACC, said: “We were delighted to be approached by St Albans district council for help with this project.

“Our committee had been planning to make a donation to support the NHS during the pandemic when this ideal opportunity arose.

“Contributing our local knowledge and financial support to such a practical project to enable local health workers to get cycling is a brilliant extra to our wider campaigning effort.”

MP Daisy Cooper said: “This is a brilliant initiative for local NHS heroes to get them to and from work safely on two wheels.”

The council is going to explore other funding options for refurbishing even more bikes for NHS workers across the district.


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