Travelwise - A more sustainable way to get to work

We are members of Travelwise (through Dudley MBC), an initiative aimed at reducing employee car usage not only to and from work, but also on work related journeys.

So what are Servosteel doing?


Now

  • Promoting sustainable travel through the Travelwise Noticeboard displayed in our works and provision of relevant information relating to sustainable travel ideas.
  • Dedicated motorbike storage area
  • Formulation of motorbike user group

Future

  • Installation of dedicated bicycle storage area.
  • Formulation of Bicycle User Group (BUG).
  • Investigation into cost savings on bicycle purchases (tax relief schemes, salary sacrifice)
  • Investigation into cost savings on travel passes (discounts, salary sacrifice)

So why do we need to be more sustainable in how we travel to work


The Problem


Increasingly we rely on our cars for even the shortest of journeys. Traffic congestion is increasing, fossil fuels are becoming scarce and more expensive, emissions of carbon dioxide from vehicles are increasing and the threat of global warming and climate change is looming. Travel planing to and from school, university, work and leisure activities has a vital role to play in reducing traffic, and in particular, single occupancy car journeys. So, how can we be more sustainable in the way that we travel?

Walk your way to fitness!


Walking is the most sustainable mode of transport available. It does not harm the environment and has great health benefits as well as being free. It requires no specialist equipment and helps satisfy the national recommendation for physical activity of 30 minutes of moderate activity, five times a week.

Tips for Walking

  • Be safe - Wear light coloured clothing in the winter, use pedestrian crossings, keep to well lit routes and keep valuables safe.
  • Be Sociable - See if any of your colleagues use the same route and walk together.
  • Be Healthy - If you don't feel fit enough to walk the whole way, get off the bus one stop earlier and build your fitness gradually. Also, walk your children to school, it will help with their fitness too.

Get on your bike!


Regular cycling is an ideal way to include physical activity into your daily routine. It's sustainable, relatively cheap, easy to get started and a great way to get fit. Health benefits include reduction in blood pressure, makes you less likely to suffer from depression, helps control weight and gradually improves general muscle function and mobility.

Did You Know?


Cycling at a moderate speed can consume up to 400 calories per hour.

Tips for Cycling to work

  • Plan a safe route from your home to your workplace. You can do this by visiting your Local Authority Website, or by visiting www.sustrans.org.uk
  • Set up a bicycle users group (BUG) at work so that you can meet and share ideas with other cyclists.

Catch the bus or train


If the distance to travel to work is beyond your cycle/walk expectation, then public transport can be an excellent alternative to car travel. Most modern buses have a carrying capacity of eight cars, whilst only occupying the same space as three cars. For longer journeys, trains provide a more sustainable option than travelling by car, with frequent services, which are safe and accessible to all. Both methods will involve the physical activity of walking or cycling whilst helping to reduce road congestion and your personal carbon footprint.

Tips for using Public Transport

  • As with walking, check at your workplace for people who use the same route as you. Take the opportunity to have a chat with a colleague before work.
  • Integrate some physical activity by either getting off the bus or train one stop earlier.
  • Check out this excellent route planner from Traveline (www.travelinemidlands.co.uk).

If you must drive...


If there really is no alternative but to drive then there are ways of making your car journey more sustainable such as car sharing and driving sensibly.

Tips for Sustainable car travel

  • Car share with a colleague - If you drive alternate weeks you will have reduced both your carbon footprint and running costs by almost half. Can't car share with a colleague? Check out www.carshare.com!
  • Check your speed - Driving sensibly and not braking or accelerating sharply will reduce fuel consumption
  • Travel light - Roof boxes, racks and bike carriers increase fuel consumption (up to 20% when travelling at 75mph with a roof rack fitted). Don't leave all your tools in the boot, the heavier the car the more fuel you will consume. Don't fill your tank to the top. Why carry all of that weight around?
  • Check your tyre pressures - under inflated tyres use more fuel, as well as being dangerous!

Need Convincing?


The future we are facing as car drivers is a bleak one. If no action is taken traffic congestion is projected to grow 65% overall by 2010, with car traffic expected to increase by 22% from the current levels of 321 billion vehicle kilometres per year. Traffic is also a major source of carbon dioxide emissions (the average UK motorist produces 2 tonnes of CO2 per year). Its worth remembering that 58% of all car trips are less than five miles (easily cyclable), whilst 25% are less than one mile (perfect for walking). If just half of Britain's motorists left their cars at home just one a day a week, traffic congestion could be cut by 10%! So if you've got to travel, think green!


References
CENTRO TRAVELWISE TEAM, (2005) An Introduction to Sustainable Travel. Centro Travelwise Team.
DEPARTMENT FOR HEALTH & DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT (2003), Walk In to Work Out. London: HMS.
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT (2002) Making Travel Plans Work. London: HMSO.
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT (2002) A Travel Plan Resources Pack for Employers. London: HMSO (Energy Best Practice, Steer Davies Gleave).
GORKSKI, N. (2007) Servosteel Travel Plan. Birmingham (Faber Maunsell).
TRAVELWISE DUDLEY METROPOLITAN COUNCIL (2007) Travel Plan Information Pack. Dudley (Travelwise Dudley Metropolitan Council).
McMULLAN, R. (2007) Cycling to Work - A beginners guide. Devon: Green Books.
DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS (2007) Sustainable Development Indicators in your pocket 2007. London: DEFRA Publications.
DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT (2007) Transport Trends 2007 Edition. London:Crown Publications


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