Meet the financial planner from Gloucester who paddle-boards his way to work

Alex says he won't go back to driving to work if he can help it. Credit: Alex Kell

Alex Kell, the principal financial planner at Quayside Wealth Management in Gloucester, says he has found a new and improved way to travel to work.If the wind is in the right direction he gets his stand-up paddle-board out at his home in Hempsted, and paddles the mile up the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal to his office in Gloucester Docks.

He says he won't go back to driving to work if he can help it: "I'm lucky, I live a mile from work on the canal. If I drove it would take me 15 to 20 minutes including parking. But I was often sitting in traffic."It's quicker to walk along the canal, and better than sitting in traffic. But even better is to paddle the mile if the weather's right."

Alex Kell on his daily commute Credit: Alex Kell

Alex doesn't usually wear a suit for his trip on the board, as in the picture, but wears suitable clothing and footwear and keeps his work gear in a drybag.He said: "I paddled to work a lot last summer, and now the weather is getting better I'm doing it again."Rain doesn't stop me, the real issue is wind. If the wind is strong then it's a real struggle and makes you much slower, so on those days I just walk along the canal."But when the weather is favourable, Alex says there's nothing better than taking the canal: "It's so relaxing, there's always ducks and swans and it's a whole different rhythm."You get wonderful views and sunsets. It's just beautiful.""People on the canal are quite used to it, there's a fair few people who paddle-board on it, so they're quite used to us. Sometimes people walking by on the towpath are a bit surprised."Although travelling by paddleboard will always be of limited use, Alex makes the point that the canal could be more utilised: "People could kayak and canoe. And we've quite often spoken about why there isn't a water-bus."The canal runs down to Quedgeley and there's a lot of people who travel in form there to the city. It might be worth thinking about some sort of public transport use of the canal."