The sunshine and fabulous ss Great Britain stewards cheerily greeted those who arrived at the ss Great Britain’s Great Eastern Hall yesterday for the second Go Green Business Breakfast, this time with a focus on Travel & Transport. There was a fun, vibrant and enthusiastic vibe to the morning’s proceedings. Almost 100 people came along to hear expert presentations and meet and chat to local organisations who had brought exhibition stands to the event.
The well behaved attendees all took their seats promptly at 08:13, eagerly awaiting the speakers – we never knew that herding so many people would be so quick!
Jessica Ferrow, Go Green Project Manager, launched the event by informing us that there are now 130 organisations working on their Go Green action plans and five Prove It members! These are great figures considering that Go Green launched just six weeks ago.
James Freeman from First Group then took the helm and steered the audience on a jovial voyage through his career, first as a bus conductor and now as Managing Director at First Bristol and West of England. It was interesting to hear about the huge growth in bus journeys across the city region and how they adapt to reach capacity – they are on the look out for new drivers, so James told people to get in touch if they fancy a career change! James also introduced us to the famous ‘poo bus’ that is run on gas produced from sewage and launches this week to serve route number two (!) Finally we heard about the new apps and offers available to support bus travel in the region.
Dr Suzanne Audrey from the University of Bristol gave us some really useful practical tips about encouraging a mode of travel to work that is often forgotten but the second most frequently used mode – walking! Read on for our favourite suggestions, many are applicable to other modes of transport too…
How to encourage staff to walk to work
- Reduce car parking! But of course that’s bound to be controversial, so make sure you are seen to be fair
- Use savings from reduced parking spaces to support walking in a variety of ways e.g. subsidised public transport, subsidised walking shoes or wet weather clothing, free umbrellas or rucksacks, locker facilities and improved cloakroom and washing facilities
- Support flexible working hours to enable employees to combine other responsibilities with the walk to work e.g. the ‘school run’ or other family responsibilities and to adjust work patterns to fit with public transport e.g. train or bus timetables and daylight hours
- Provide information to existing staff and new applicants such as maps showing nearest bus stops and train station distances, routes and times to the workplace based on 20 minutes per mile
- Mileage allowances instigate a walking mileage allowance for those who walk to meetings. Drivers get it, so why not walkers? It could be quicker than driving in the city centre! Suzanne suggests 20p per mile – the same as many cycle mileage schemes.
- Negotiate discount from local shops for equipment such as walking shoes or raincoats
- Accommodate walkers’ changing time If smokers are given short breaks to go outside during work, allow time for walkers to change at the start and the end of the working day
Speaker images courtesy of Ieuan Williams from Sustain Ltd & Ian Barrett from Sustrans
Travelwest funding for sustainable travel
Sara Sloman – Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) Business Engagement Manager, and Jacob Pryor – Bristol Business Engagement Manager were a great double act and explained how their team works with employers in the Bristol City area to help businesses access Travelwest support offers as part of the LSTF fund. This includes match funded grants, employer engagement events to motivate and inspire employees to travel to work in a more fun, healthy, active and sustainable way. That’s right, they have grants to help you! Their slides can be found on Slideshare.
- In Bristol the Business Engagement Team work with 230 businesses (March 2015) tripling the entry level of 2012 when the work began
- Approximately 300 employer roadshows have been provided for Bristol businesses since 2012
- Bristol City Council revived the Bristol Cycle Champions Scheme in 2014 with 56 Businesses, and delivers the continuation of 25 core activities to assist with Businesses making sustainable travel a priority for 2015/16
- In 2014, 70% of LSTF grant money was distributed to businesses that are being affected by the Residents Parking Scheme (RPS) and over £200,000 was provided within the three year project
- Go Green members are invited to get involved in the Big Commuter Challenge which will be back bigger than ever in June 2015
- If you accept deliveries to your business in the city centre, find out if the Freight Consolidation Scheme could work with your business
- The Cycle Champions Scheme has a full programme planned and a social event in April to present results and prizes to dedicated champions
- Match funded grants are available (50:50) to support improvements to facilities onsite such as improved cycling facilities, showers, lockers, changing rooms, cycle parking, pool bikes
- There will be three grant rounds in 2015/16 with the first in April 2015
- Bristol Workplace Travel Network meetings are a great place to find out more
- Video case studies of businesses who have worked with Travelwest are available for inspiration
Nina Skubala gave an overview of the of the Sustainable Transport Declaration for Bristol that was being penned today, so watch this space for more details. Finally, to round off our speedy sail through the sustainable transport waters, Ian Barrett from Sustrans and the CIC Director & Chair of Project Liaison Group for the Bristol Green Capital Partnership gave us an overview of the proposed Good Transport Plan for Bristol.
Travel & Transport Exhibitors
- Co-wheels car club – Talitha Burnett
- Lombard finance – Paul Jenkins
- Source West electric vehicle charge points – Marius Jennings
- Westward Leasing vehicle leasing – Sam Young
- Velopost cycle postal service – Jeremy Field
- Life Cycle UK cycling support for staff – Fiona Lewis
- Travelwest Roadshow sustainable travel engagement team – Sara Sloman & Jacob Pryor
- First West of England bus and train travel – Sue Arrowsmith
- Nissan Leaf affordable electric cars running at 2p a mile – Clare Collings
- Pedal Power Transport cargo bike deliveries (advertising space on trailer available) – Steve Mayger
The Go Green team would like to thank our wonderful hosts at the ss Great Britain. We look forward to seeing you at some of our upcoming events!
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