Active commuting: digital toolkit for businesses launched

5:07pm - 19 November 2021
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With COP26 just finished and lowering emissions high on everyone’s agenda, employers across North Somerset are invited to download the ‘Find Joy in the Journey’ digital toolkit. 

It's packed with ideas to encourage staff to travel more actively, showing how cycling and walking can benefit your business and helping North Somerset move towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“Faced with huge global challenges, it’s easy to feel hopeless, yet there are plenty of simple things that businesses can do to lower their carbon emissions, benefit the environment and improve staff wellbeing and productivity,” said Cllr Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods and community services.

“This toolkit offers tips and advice on topics like accessing grants to install bike shelters or showers, planning journeys on foot or by bike, and setting up a ‘cycle to work’ salary sacrifice scheme at work. Our active travel officers can support firms to install bike stands, promote free bike servicing or e-bike trials, stage active travel days or spark a bit of friendly rivalry with workplace active travel challenges like Love to Ride.”

Offers available to businesses in North Somerset include:

  • free electric pool bike fleet trials for staff
  • free electric cargo bike trials for delivery businesses
  • free access to nationally accredited travel plan software, ModeShift
  • free access to Love to Ride, the workplace active travel challenge
  • free bicycle stands for your site
  • free active travel roadshows
  • free on-site Dr Bike mechanic visits.

Zak Aravantinos, Strategic Development Director with Access Your Care, a company that recently enjoyed a free electric bike trial, said: “Staff using the e-bike reported a significant improvement in their independence at work. They no longer needed support to travel to and from work from friends, family or work colleagues.

“E-bikes are very comfortable, safe and easy to operate. As a business, we’ve reduced the time spent making adjustments to work patterns, and have seen cost reductions in contributions towards travel, such as taxi costs. The e-bike brought further benefits to our internal ways of working while benefiting the environment.”

Anne Hayes, Environment Manager at the Bristol Port Company, said: “Ten Royal Portbury Dock employees clocked-up over 1,100 miles during our recent e-bike trial. Two went on to buy their own e-bikes through the Port’s cycle to work scheme – one commuted over 540 miles in a month.

“An Ops Supervisor used the e-bike to ease himself back into the commute and has since bought a bike, and another employee got back into cycling after 40 years after trialling an e-bike on a Port social ride.”

The ‘Find Joy in the Journey’ business toolkit has been created by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and is promoted by the four local authorities in the West of England. It can be downloaded at: https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Find-Joy-in-the-Journey-guide.pdf?utm_campaign=Active-Travel-B2B&utm_medium=partner&utm_content=Guide.

Kerry O’Neill is an active travel officer with North Somerset Council, focusing on business engagement. To discuss any of the ideas in the toolkit, or for support in seeking solutions to your workplace’s own unique challenges, email Kerry on sustainable.travel@n-somerset.gov.uk or call 01275 884 605.