Speaking to members from the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management, Mark Smith, a committee member for the Better Journey Project, said “employers should give information to employees about how to travel sustainably”.
Mr Smith told the audience at the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that businesses who see reduced car use could either sell off or sub-let company parking spaces, using the resulting money to “reinvest into sustainable travel for employees”.
He emphasised to facilities managers that a barrier to many people for engaging with active travel was the lack of suitable provisions to disincentivize car use.
He listed showers, changing rooms, and secure cycle parking as elements which would make sustainable modes of transport to work more attractive for employees.
“If you’re spending three to four thousand pounds on an electric bike, you are going to want somewhere to store it,” he said.
Mr Smith added that the two core issues which drive the Project are the “demographic timebomb threatening the economy” and environmental effects tied to personal transport.
“It’s no surprise to everybody that we need to reduce our emissions from travel… the road network simply doesn’t have enough space,” he said, referring to increasing numbers of housing developments, which will inevitably lead to more people needing to travel in certain areas.
Whilst it highlighted that most carbon emissions come from internal combustion engines, the Project stressed it is “not anti-car, it’s about using your car less, or increasing the number of people in your car”.
Pictured: Mr Smith gave a talk at the Chamber of Commerce yesterday.
Mr Smith said the group doesn't expect window-cleaners and builders, for example, to carry around their equipment and materials by push-bike: “We fully recognise that some journeys are not practical without an internal combustion engine."
Their aim is to illustrate that journeys are made better when they contribute to personal health, the environment, and are fun.
“What’s better than spending 20 minutes riding your bike down a quiet country lane, compared to sitting in a car in traffic – watching bikes go straight past you,” said Mr Smith.
He said ‘Better Journey’ days could repeat every month and on a personal level said it would be great to see them happening every single Friday.
During last Friday’s inaugural Better Journey Day, the team surveyed traffic funneling into Town during the morning rush-hour.
They found that whilst there was a slight increase in people walking, single-occupancy car use was still the dominant form of transport.
In a half hour period, one member recorded 600 single-occupancy cars driving past the Braye Lodge Hotel, and these findings also mirrored the situation at Le Val de Terres and Fountain Street.
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