Staff working at Hull’s Hospitals are now able to catch free buses to work as part of a plan to tackle climate change.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is working with East Yorkshire Buses, Asda and Morrison’s to establish three new park-and-ride services for staff working at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital.
Staff working at Castle Hill Hospital can catch the 25 service anywhere along the route from Hornsea to the hospital, including Leven, Brandesburton, Tickton and Beverley, for free. Staff can also park their cars at Morrison’s in Beverley to catch the 25 to work.
Two more services have been introduced using the 56 and 57 buses from East Hull, with staff able to park their cars at Asda Bilton or Morrison’s on Holderness Road before catching the bus to Hull Royal Infirmary. They can also catch the bus anywhere along the route and travel for free, just by showing their ID badges.
More than 500 car journeys have been saved in the first three weeks of the scheme.
Duncan Taylor, Director of Estates, Facilities and Development, said the new schemes were part of HUTH’s Zero Thirty campaign to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2030 and support staff with the cost of living.
He said: “We all have to move away from our over-reliance on cars if we are to stand a chance of tackling climate change and the recent soaring temperatures have focused people’s minds on the need for every one of us to take action.
“We would never be able to satisfy the demand for enough car parking spaces at either of our hospitals but more spaces are not the answer. As the largest employer in the city, we take our responsibility to reduce pollution and the risk of future flooding very seriously.
“These new park-and-rides and free bus services offer staff living in these areas a viable alternative of getting to work. Not only will they avoid car parking charges, the rising cost of fuel and associated wear and tear on their cars, they’ll also be able to travel on the bus for free while playing their part in tackling climate change.
“We’re really grateful to Asda and Morrison’s, as well as East Yorkshire Buses, for their support which is allowing our staff to leave their cars at home completely or for at least part of the way.”
HUTH will be reintroducing car parking charges shortly after the Department of Health and Social Care withdrew funding introduced during the initial waves of the pandemic.
It launched a Getting to Work programme in June to help staff come up with options for travelling to work instead of bringing their cars, including walking, cycling, running and using public transport. Staff have been able to attend a range of activities including free bike maintenance days, “try before you buy” bike trials and events with East Riding Council, Hull City Council, Safer Roads Humber and Humberside Police to promote safe active travel.
The new park-and-ride services are in addition to the existing park-and-ride express service from Priory Park for those living and travelling to Hull Royal Infirmary from the west of the city. HUTH staff in West Hull are also able to travel for free on the 154 and 63 services between Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital.
Staff who don’t live on or near the routes of the new and existing park-and-ride bus services can still benefit from discounted bus fares through a Smart Commute card and can also spread the cost of a rail season ticket over 12 months.
HUTH is also running a free park-and-ride shuttle from the Mercure Hotel in Willerby to Castle Hill, helping staff avoid the stress of finding a parking space while freeing up more spaces for patients. It also has a Cycle to Work scheme to help staff spread the cost of a new bike over one, two or three years.