Birmingham businessman commutes by kayak on canal

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Media caption,
Mike Bandar said travelling via the canal allows him to take in the scenery

A businessman has come up with a novel way of dodging Birmingham's traffic - by using paddle power to kayak to work.

It takes Mike Bandar 20 minutes to travel from his home in the Jewellery Quarter along the canal to Birmingham Science Park.

The 23-year-old, who runs a dating website, came up with the idea after noticing there were no canal locks blocking his route.

He bought the kayak online for £130.

He said: "I have always tried to set myself different challenges and I recently moved into a new office at Birmingham Science Park in Aston.

"I walked from my apartment to the office via the canals and it struck me when I got to the office that there are no locks in between that journey. So I thought 'hang on a minute, I am going to kayak to work."

'Different experience'

Mr Bandar, who lives in Kenyon Street, began his novel method of travelling in July. He said initially it took him longer than driving but now it actually saves him time.

Driving would take up to half an hour, but he can get to work in 20 minutes. He said walking took him 25 minutes.

Mr Bandar said travelling via the canal allows him to take in the scenery and chat to other boaters.

"It's not so much about the time it's more about the enjoyment of using the kayak," he said.

"It's a totally different experience."

But he said he was unsure if he would continue to use the kayak when winter draws in.

"I am going to carry on doing it for as long as I can but I will probably switch to being a fair weather kayaker," he said.

"Although, in the thunderstorms last month, they were actually my best days of getting to work because, when the weather is really moody and it's raining on you, it just adds another element to it.

"I do really enjoy it."