Council staff turn to pedal power
COFFS HARBOUR City Council has added six bikes to its vehicle fleet for short staff trips within a 5km radius around the city.
The $10,000 cost of the six sturdy handmade Dutch Gazelle bicycles, two of which have electric motors to provide extra power when travelling uphill, has been met from NSW
Government Environment Trust grant funds.
The project, which Coffs Harbour Mayor Cr Keith Rhoades said was a first for any council in NSW, is a sustainable transport initiative of the Our Living Coast Alliance and will allow staff to travel on cycleways between the administrative offices, works
depots, Botanic Garden, Jetty and the airport, freeing up other vehicles.
Coffs Harbour City Council's road safety and transport officer Anne Shearer said they would evaluate cost savings, staff reaction and demand for the bikes for 12 months and she hoped they would encourage staff to improve their fitness and well-being. Staff members can use the bikes in their lunch hour. The cycles are fitted with panniers for documents and chain guards, allowing riders to wear normal shoes and clothes.
"We're prepared to pedal anything in Coffs Harbour," said a mischievous Cr Rodney Degens, who tried out one of the bikes.
The chairman of the city council's cycle committee said the bicycle was very comfortable and easy to ride.