Commuters Switch To Walking And Cycling To Beat The Morning Blues

Catherine Higgins
ALL over the city – on cycle paths, parks and roads – more and more of Liverpool’s professionals are enjoying the feeling of walking or cycling to work. But why have they opted to walk or cycle, and what is encouraging them to do so? The 20 Effect, the campaign that introduced slower and safer road speeds across the city, has entered its second phase, and now it’s all about empowering people to get themselves about by bike or foot. The 20 Effect team have been out and about in the city and on social media, speaking to schools and businesses, spreading the word about how walking and cycling is the best way to beat the Liverpool traffic and get from A to B – and it’s working. Many people who work in Liverpool city centre are already feeling the benefits: people who have newly taken up walking and cycling as their primary means of commuting are reporting that they are arriving to work each morning feeling much more refreshed, uplifted and ready for their day. Mike Smith, managing director of Open Messenger, said: “I cycle to work in the mornings and walk around town to get to meetings by day. Cycling wakes me up and sets me up for the day, and then walking allows me to maintain that energy. “It also allows me to mentally prepare for every meeting whilst walking there, and take some time to get some perspective. It’s hard to do that when you drive, but when you walk you can really take the time to take a step back and focus.” Catherine Higgins, managing director of Catherine Higgins Law, said: “Several times a week I cycle to the city centre from my home in Gateacre, riding along the waterfront. It’s an excellent way to get my day off to a bright start, and to take some time to relax and reflect in the morning before work. “It’s quiet in the morning by the waterfront. The sun rises over the Mersey and you can see all kinds of birds that you can’t usually see from a car. There’s a deep sense of peace, and it stays with me throughout the day.” Zoe, head of Agent Academy CIC, said: “Each day, cycling gives me fresh perspective on myself. It gives me valuable time to unwind and reflect upon what I’m doing, where I’m going and why I’m doing it in the first place. “It also gives me the opportunity to really see the city. There are so many beautiful parks, avenues and cycle paths that you’ll never see from the inside of a car. When I walk or cycle, I can also stop whenever I want to take a look at some of the city’s stunning architecture. We live in a beautiful city, but it’s easy to forget that when you are behind the wheel with your eyes fixed firmly on the road.” Robin Ireland, chief executive, Health Equalities Group, said: “There’s tons of reasons why I cycle to work. For one thing, it can actually be quicker than driving, especially for short trips. It keeps me fit, but I don’t really think of it as exercise: it’s just a free, convenient and fun way to get about that makes me feel good.” The 20 Effect is a campaign from Liverpool City Council. To keep up with everyday reasons to walk or cycle to work, follow them on Twitter @the20effect, Instagram @The20Effect, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/the20effect. If you live near the city and walk or cycle to work, get in touch with the team and they will be happy to share your stories of the little ways that walking or cycling have changed your life for the better. And if you’ve been meaning to make a small change in the way that you get about the city, take a pledge to do so over on The 20 Effect website at www.the20effect.com/your-pledge/.