A ‘BORIS Bike’ scheme to get doctors, nurses and scientists pedalling to the Warneford Hospital has been hailed a “great opportunity.”

As reported in yesterday’s Oxford Mail, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has received 22 new loan bikes and docking stations, which have been divided between the Warneford Hospital and its Littlemore site.

The trust’s chief executive Stuart Bell said: “It is a really great opportunity for people who work at the trust to get on their bikes.

“Not only will it reduce the pressures on car parks, it’s also good for you.

“We’re interested in promoting healthy and sustainable ways of our staff travelling between our sites. It’s a great opportunity.”

Employees have proved that cycling between the Warneford Hospital and its Littlemore site can be faster than driving.

In a video on YouTube a staff member using a loan bike beat someone driving by car.

The driver was held up because he couldn’t find anywhere to park.

Employees only have to pay £1 to register for the scheme and a journey of up to 30 minutes is free of charge.

A journey of up to an hour will cost £1.

The bikes are in addition to loan bike stations which have cropped up across the city in the last year, and include sites at Headington’s John Radcliffe Hospital and Oxford University’s Science Park in Begbroke.

The new bikes cost a total of £34,000 which has been split between Oxford University and Oxfordshire County Council, which used part of a £150,000 grant it got from the Department of Transport.

County council travel planner David Early said: “Certainly we hope the scheme will help in terms of traffic and parking around the Warneford Hospital.

“The cycle scheme was first proposed as part of traffic-easing measures around hospitals in Headington, like the John Radcliffe.

“We’ve seen great success with the scheme. In terms of usage, over 600 people are members.”

The scheme began in June 2013 and has been funded by a £150,000 grant from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

There are now 52 bikes at multiple sites, including the Thornhill Park-and-Ride.

The new 22 loan bikes were partly funded by Oxford University, which contributed £25,000 to the project.

The university’s travel officer Edward Wigzell said: “We have a lot of academics and people who work at the university who will do talks and lab work at our science sites, and then do clinical work at the Warneford.

“This is about creating a sustainable way of connecting the university’s sites.”

He added: “Cycling is definitely going to be the most reliable connection, and nine times out of 10 it’s also the fastest.”