Appeal to consider sustainable commuter travel

Colleagues are urged to reconsider their modes of transport after it was revealed there has been a drop in sustainable commuter travel.

Electric car charging points on campus are part of our efforts to increase the number of colleagues using more sustainable modes of travel for their commute to and from work

Northern universities to tackle transport emissions. May 2019

According to results of the annual Travel Survey, undertaken in March, colleagues using sustainable modes of transport for their commute have decreased by 3% during the past two years.

The 2019 figure is 73.61%, which has decreased year-on-year since 2016-17.

Sustainable modes of transport include walking, cycling, using public transport and car sharing. Single occupancy car use remains the most popular form of transport in 2019, with 25% of colleagues currently choosing to commute alone in their vehicle. This is increasing pressure on local road networks for both the journey and the requirement for parking close to campus.

Colleagues are now being urged to reconsider their mode of transport on the eve of Clean Air Day 2019 (Thursday 20 June) – a national campaign aiming to raise awareness of air pollution across the UK. This is especially relevant here in Leeds where air pollution levels are forecast to reach illegal EU limits by 2020 if drastic action isn’t taken.

We are holding a series of events to mark Clean Air Day, including offering free breakfasts to active commuters, electric bike trials in the Bike Hub and an air quality-monitoring walk around campus. Academics in this field will also be undertaking awareness-raising events in the city centre and at local schools.

Staff are also reminded there are a wide range of discounted public transport tickets available on the Staff Benefits site.

One note of encouragement from the latest Travel Survey is figures for walking and cycling have increased slightly since last year’s results, with walking now 18.4% and cycling 8.36% – a rise of 1.18% and 0.2% respectively. However, bus travel has decreased by 1% (to 16%) and train travel by 2.68% (to 19.4%) since the 2018 survey results.

Results for students have remained largely unchanged this year, with 95% travelling sustainably, of which 73% walk or run to campus as their main mode of transport. Surprisingly, though, bus travel has decreased by 2% (from 2018 figures) to 9.5%.

See the Sustainable Transport webpage for full survey results and for ideas about how you can positively change your commute.

The Sustainability Service would like to thank all those who took part in the survey. The winners of the prize draw were announced in April, with Helen Dowson picking up a Trinity Leeds voucher, while Jamie Johnston and student Holly Nuttell won the John Lewis vouchers.

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