The eagerly awaited opening has been welcomed by employers and employees on the park as an additional transport link to South Tyneside, which adds to the many direct cycle routes to the UK’s largest office park.
Leaders from EE, Northumbrian NHS, Santander and Siemens Gamesa joined Ride Electric, Bike4Health and the Cobalt Management Team on the parks first organised cycle ride through the tunnel to Cobalt.
Lynn Cramman, Business Development Manager at Cobalt Park said “We are thrilled the Pedestrian and Cyclists Tunnel has finally reopened. Cobalt is surrounded by both on and off road cycle paths which are now easily accessible to those who travel from South Tyneside. The onsite team work with Ride Electric and Bike4Health throughout the year to encourage staff to try cycling to work, the number of new cycle paths and infrastructure improvements are making this a more viable option for staff that live within a 5 mile radius”
Ray Orrell, Head of Site at EE NT2 said “The ride through the tunnel exceeded my expectations. It is only a ¼ of a mile and takes a matter of minutes to get safely from one side to the other. Myself and 2 of my team, Linda Field and Lee Halliday, found the ride extremely enjoyable and suitable for all levels of fitness. I would strongly encourage anyone, who lives within a 5 mile radius, to consider investing in a bike and cycling to work.
Linda Field, Site Support Assistant, at EE NT2 said ‘ I was given the opportunity to ride one of the electric bikes on the route and found they made the uphill part of the ride a breeze, it was if I was riding on a flat cycle path all of the way from the tunnel to the Cobalt Business Park. I would certainly recommend these to staff on site and would encourage employees to use the EE Cycle to Work Scheme.
Christopher O’Leary, Location Manager from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy said “We are delighted that the pedestrian and cycle tunnel is now open and adds a great additional travel option for colleagues, this now provides options for environmentally friendly transport to those travelling from south of the Tyne. The event today provided both information of the great history and restoration of the tunnels, as well as a hands on experience to try out the cycle route. Personally I enjoyed the trial of the e-bike that effortlessly propelled me up the slight incline on the north side of the river and onwards to the Cobalt park. We now have a real renewable energy option to travel under the river Tyne and look forward to promoting this option to staff, park neighbours and friends alike”.
This ride is just one way that Cobalt Park is raising awareness of the cycling commute routes for staff, the on site monthly Bike Hub event offers free basic bike MOTs for employees with a paid service option, FREE bike loans, cycle travel planning and budi guided rides.
Later this month, Cobalt are also set to challenge staff to take on the 100km cycling challenge around Northumberland from the Hub.