Chamber Chat with John O'Neill

August 03, 2017 - 9:00am

Chamber Chat with John O'Neill

With the government proposing to ban the sales of all internal combustion vehicles by 2040, thoughts immediately turn to alternative forms of transport and will the national infrastructure support an all-electric national fleet?

Whilst I can't predict the future, at least not very well, I can confidently say that we have a form of non-polluting transport available to us today; that of the bicycle. Bikes now come in all configurations, including electric, which should start to define the argument about future transport.

People who know me might also know I am a bit of a cyclist. I mainly commute to work on my bike and take to the hills on the weekends. I very rarely drive now. The health benefits alone are immense, not to mention the cost and time savings as I pass lines of stationary traffic, but this is not about me, or cycling if you can believe that after reading this far. It's about the benefits to companies by encouraging employees to exercise. Healthier employees tend to be happier employees, they take less time off work and are generally more productive.

In this district we are blessed to live and work in a fantastic location, which benefits our ability to exercise. The roads are quieter than major metropolitan areas, and we have fantastic outside spaces in which to roam yet cycling or walking to work is not very common in the UK, compared to the rest of Europe.

Changes over recent years have seen the government and insurance companies taking a greater interest in the health and well-being of employees. Incentives such as the ‘Cycle To Work’ scheme and life insurance that rewards you for being healthy, to name but a couple. So, in short, fit and healthy employees are good for you, the business and the bottom line.