Cycling GP saving money and planet

One GP on a bike saves 500kg of carbon emissions a year, says Jacky Law

Cycling to work cuts down on CO2 emissions, keeps you fit, saves money on petrol and is enjoyable, says Gloucester GP Dr Simon Loader.

An all-weather cyclist, Dr Loader pedals roughly two miles each time he travels between home and the surgery, Gloucester City Health Centre. When home visits are factored in, he reckons he clocks up around 25 miles a week.

‘The reason I cycle is that it gives me regular exercise that is difficult to get otherwise,’ he says. ‘But I also love being outside and it’s nice to know I am not adding to pollution levels.’

The extent to which Dr Loader is reducing CO2 emissions works out at 10.52kg a week. That is what 25 miles in his Ford Galaxy would release into the atmosphere. Using the Treasury’s estimated social cost of carbon, £75 per tonne, Dr Loader’s financial contribution to the environment works out at £0.79 a week.

It helps that Gloucester is fairly flat and the practice catchment area is tight. All the patients live within two or three miles of the surgery and when Dr Loader is on-call, he brings the car to work in case he is called out for something serious and speed is essential.

Ten years ago his bike cost him around £300 and has been kitted out with a rack on the back to hold his medical bag. Dr Loader has also invested in a helmet, a high-visibility vest and waterproofs for rainy days. 

Kitting yourself out for cycling is not difficult. New bikes cost anything from £150 and a reasonable model can be found for £400–£800. Second-hand ones can be picked up for less. A quality touring bike, which might retail at £750, can be picked up on internet auction site eBay for around £120. 

We will pay readers £50 for any of their 200-word ‘go-green’ tips we publish. Contact carole.slingsby@

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