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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 6 March 2014

Help us give our bikes a 'handle'

LIVERPOOL'S exciting new cycle hire scheme is nearly here; so now we want YOU to help us officially name it.  The Council  is inviting everyone in Liverpool to have their say over which name they would most like to see emblazoned across the bikes and stations, which will become part of everyday life in the City from April.

Three names have been shortlisted, and a public vote has been launched online to pick a winner. People can also choose their favourite name by email

Everyone who registers their vote will be entered into a prize draw – with a year's free membership to the cycle hire scheme up-for-grabs for five lucky people!

The shortlisted names which the public are being asked to vote for are:

►City Bike - a strong, simple name, capturing Liverpool's identity as a major, urban centre.

'Pool Bike' – with a clear nod to the world-famous Liverpool name, as well as a reference to the fact that the bikes are for everyone to use.

► Pop Cycle – popping out? Hop on a pop cycle! Also a fun, fresh play on Liverpool's position as a music City and the UK's Capital of Pop

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:- "Our cycle hire scheme is set to be the biggest in the country, outside London, so it's important that it has a strong identity which resonates with people within the City and beyond.

Asking the public to help us choose the name for our bikes is a great way of getting people engaged, and giving them ownership of a scheme which we hope will give a real boost to sustainable transport in this City. I'm looking forward to seeing which name proves to be the most popular."

Experienced UK supplier Hour Bike Ltd has been chosen to run the scheme; which is set to be the biggest in the UK outside London; after a competitive tender process.

The scheme will launch in April with an initial 100 bikes at 10City centre stations. By July, there will be 500 bikes at 50 stations; with 1,000 bikes at more than 100 stations, across the City, by March 2015.

People simply need to pay an annual membership fee which allows them to take a bike from any station, ride it where they like, then take it back to any station, ready for the next person to use.

No booking is needed and it's self-service; just turn up and go. The bikes are best for short journeys; and using them will be free to members to use for the first half hour.

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, Councilor Tim Moore, said:- "We are really excited about the launch of our Cycle Hire scheme, and we want to give everyone in theCity the chance to be part of it.  This scheme is for the people of Liverpool - you'll be using the bikes, so it's only right that you have the final say on what the scheme should be known as. By putting it to the public vote, we'll hopefully choose the name which best reflects the unique style and character of Liverpool.  So get voting, help us name our bikes – and then help us make the scheme a success by using them!"

Liverpool's cycle hire scheme was announced last year. Since then, extensive consultation has been carried out with local people, businesses, key tourism and sites and educational institutions to get their views on the scheme, how they would use it, and where they would like stations to be located.

The City Council  also held a Cycle Hire Demonstration Week in the City centre last July, giving hundreds of people the chance to try out bikes from a range of suppliers, get to grips with how to use the stations and provide feedback.

The funding for the Liverpool City Cycle scheme comes from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), allocated by the Department for Transport (DfT). Liverpool has received £2.8m from the fund, of which £1.5 million is being invested in delivering the cycle hire scheme. The remainder of the funding has been committed to a number of cycling and signalling infrastructure improvements, and sustainable transport initiatives in different parts of theCity.

The LSTF aims to reduce the number of journeys made by car, promote sustainable transport, and reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. It also aims to enhance access to employment and other essential services and improve journey time and reliability.

The closing date for votes is Thursday, 13 March 2014. The winning name will be announced in mid-March, along with the official colour of the bikes.

An Apple iPad a day helps keep the doctor away

iPads and iPods will soon be as common as stethoscopes and bandages on wards at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals.  That's because staff are celebrating an award of nearly £1m which will use the Apple hand held computers to improve patient care.  The Trust is one of 75 English NHS trusts to share in the £100m Nursing Technology Fund announced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, last year.   The £986,000 award to Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust will fund an award-winning patient observation system.

VitalPAC enables doctors and nurses to record clinical data on hand-held computers such as iPods at the bedside, analyse it instantly, and automatically summon timely and appropriate help when needed. 

Research conducted for the NHS at hospitals where VitalPAC is used shows a reduction in hospital deaths, more patients going home earlier and fewer admitted to intensive care.

Director of Nursing and Quality Liz Yates said:- "Patient observations such as temperature and blood pressure readings have always been taken and then recorded on paper. The advantage of this system is that changes will be picked up immediately and automatically alert staff to take action. This will reduce response time and ensure faster intervention thereby reducing possible complications."

The new system is expected to be rolled out later this year.

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