Dunstable pupils take on an Olympic feat
St Augustine’s Academy, Dunstable were treated to a visit from British Cycling Go-Ride Coach, Catherine Ruffley.More >
23 Mar 2017 22:07
We still have some spaces left for our free Dr Bike session on Saturday 25th March, 10.30 - 15.30 in Houghton Regis. Please ring 01582 813018 to book.
Red Nose Day Event; Friday 24th March, 15.00 – 18.00. Come along and see us in Bedford Square, Houghton Regis. We will be providing local sustainable travel information and there will be a chance to make a special ‘red’ smoothie on our event bike.
What a brilliant start to The Big Pedal. It’s only day 3 and already many of our schools taking part are pedalling their way towards the top of the national challenge chart. Pupils, staff and parents are scooting and cycling, with one school wheeling in with a massive 86% participation. Well done to you all.
Our recent Coffee Afternoon with our walk leaders. They’re a fab bunch! Why don’t you join them on one of our health walks across the Luton and Dunstable area :)
It isn’t just residents and community groups that can benefit from our Travel Choices programme – we also have dedicated workplace support that can provide information on managing your business related journeys.
What does our Travel Choices programme mean for businesses?
The new Travel Choices Liftshare website enables staff to search for others travelling on their journey to work – an easy way to cut weekly fuel bills and reduce car parking demand at your site.
There are around 5,000 staff employed in the Woodside area and we already have more than 700 people registered, so why not see if there’s anyone travelling your way.
Visit www.cbtravelchoices.liftshare.com for more information.
Cheaper bus fares
Our new Employer Travel Club means that businesses can pass on 10% discounts to staff on the cost of Arriva season tickets – a great way to encourage staff to take the bus, make your workplace a more attractive place to work and reduce demand for car parking spaces.
We will also cover the cost of your first year’s membership so staff can start saving straight away (typically only £100pa).
To find out more click here.
As part of the investment in technology and materials to make Central Bedfordshire an even better place to work, we have introduced new journey planning technology, real-time information, business park-specific travel guides and more.
We have published travel guides for the following business parks to assist staff and visitors in their journey-planning needs:
Free advice on developing a Workplace Travel Plan
This will assist with any future planning permissions you may seek for your site, and is a proven and cost-effective way of reducing car-dependency and meeting carbon reduction targets.
We can provide help and guidance on how to develop your own workplace travel plan, as well as the business benefits of doing so.
Click here to download our "Workplace Travel Plan - Guidance PDF"
Opportunities to build healthy exercise into daily lives
Improvements to walking and cycling routes to the Woodside Industrial Estate area, including National Cycle Route 6 and links to the Luton Dunstable Busway.
We can also arrange a number of free activities at your workplace including free adult cycle training and bike maintenance sessions which always prove popular with staff.
Installing a shower has made a big difference to staff at Dunstable based Symology. The shower was part-funded by a grant from Travel Choices and since installation increasing numbers of staff have cycled to work and participated in exercise, without the need to drive to the gym. The company has just 20 staff and nine of these are cyclists!
The project has also helped the company, located at Kensworth Gate on High Street South, achieve IS0 14001 Environmental Management System certification.
With the help of Travel Choices, DW Sports has been able to advocate active and sustainable travel to all employees and customers.
Since the recent opening of the White Lion Retail Park Busway stop, DW Sports has been actively promoting this new, frequent and reliable public transport service. The gym and fitness centre has also hosted various Travel Choices workplace events for staff and the retail park has recently been given approval for a business travel grant to install on-site sheltered cycle parking facilities.
As a business, DW Sports has benefited from Travel Choices in the following ways:
Business grant: With the addition of new, secure cycle parking, more people than ever will be able to cycle to the gym and fitness centre. These facilities have been part funded by a business travel grant, awarded to the retail park.
Busway promotion: The gym and fitness centre has been giving away taster tickets provided by Travel Choices to staff so that they can try out the new Busway services that stop at the White Lion Retail Park, making travel to work more sustainable and stress free for all.
Personal journey planning: The Travel Choices Travel Advisers have run various events at DW Sports where they have been able to advise employees and members of the public on sustainable and active travel as well as hand out incentives to encourage the uptake of walking and cycling in the local area.
Site Specific Travel Guide: DW Sports were quick to support the development of a site specific travel guide which seeks to encourage alternatives to car travel for employees and customers. It is hoped that this will have individual health benefits as well as cutting down traffic congestion in the local area.
Tom Goreham, Manager of DW Sports said:
“When I first talked to the Travel Choices team, my interest was in the more environmentally friendly travel idea as I believed many of my staff and members could benefit from having a facility to park their bikes when they visit the club. This has grown massively with the connection we have built with the Travel Choices Team and with the introduction of the Busway. Many of our members have benefited from its introduction, and the stalls that we have held within the club to introduce people to the Travel Choices scheme have gone down very well. I hope that this local development can continue further”
DW Sports is a health and fitness centre at White Lion Retail Park which employs 21 people in the fitness business, 15 people in the retail business and a large number of freelance instructors who visit the Dunstable club to teach a variety of classes.
Travel Choices has helped to promote sustainable travel for employees at Ascertiva Group Ltd, based at Houghton Hall Business Park.
How has Ascertiva Group Ltd benefited as a business?
Business Grant (Cycle shelter and E.V charging point): Ascertiva Group Ltd has taken advantage of the Travel Choices business grant which provides funding for improvements to sustainable travel infrastructure at workplaces. From this grant, Ascertiva Group Ltd has been able to install an E.V charging point and a secure cycle shelter for employees. Business grants are currently available up to £3,000.
Smarter Driving Lessons (in partnership with Travel Luton and EST): Employees have been shown how to save money on their fuel costs, by following simple tips to reduce fuel consumption. This not only benefits staff on the journey to and from work, but also translates into reduced business travel costs. Eight employees took lessons initially, with some large improvements in fuel consumption. With regular business travel undertaken within the organisation, Ascertiva Group Ltd has made a business case for large savings to be made through employees adopting smarter driving techniques. Ascertiva Group Ltd is now receiving help from Travel Choices to provide smarter driving lessons for all employees based at Houghton Hall Business Park.
Site specific map: Ascertiva Group Ltd will be one of the many businesses on the Houghton Hall estate benefiting from a travel guide helping staff and visitors to know about their travel choices to the site. This will help alleviate car park overcrowding through promotion of alternative travel options and make it easier to locate businesses on the estate.
Richard Cannon, Facilities Assistant at Ascertiva Group said:
'We found the business grants very helpful in promoting alternative travel; since the cycle shelter was installed more people are cycling to work and taking advantage of the secure sheltered area. The EV charging point has been in use most days, we now have two electric vehicles on our fleet with more people seriously considering this option.'
Travel Choices has helped to promote sustainable travel for employees at Aldwyck Housing Group, based at Houghton Hall Business Park. The Travel Choices Team advised employees on their sustainable travel choices to the site and developed 40 personalised journey plans for staff. 24 members of staff also took part in smarter driving lessons over three days, which provided advice on how to save money on fuel costs by driving smarter and reducing fuel consumption.
How has Aldwyck Housing benefited as a business? :
Smarter Driving Lessons (in partnership with Travel Luton and EST): Employees have been shown how to save money on their fuel costs, by following simple tips to reduce fuel consumption. This not only benefits staff on the journey to and from work, but also translates to reduced business travel costs. The top fuel consumption reduction was 26% which amounts to a massive £1,082 saving per year. Think how much your business could save!
Workplace journey planning for staff: Employees have benefited from personalised advice on how using sustainable travel to and from work can improve their health, save on the stress of parking and save money. Our advisers offered free information and advice as well as incentives for encouraging sustainable travel, such as pedometers.
Site specific map: Aldwyck Housing Group will be one of the many businesses on the Houghton Hall estate benefiting from a travel guide helping staff and visitors to know about their travel choices to the site. This will help alleviate car park overcrowding through promotion of alternative travel options and make it easier to locate businesses on the estate.
Nuala Ely, Office Services Manager at Aldwyck Housing Group said:
“We are delighted to have worked with Travel Choices on this project which has delivered many benefits to our staff; not only by saving them time and money but by improving their wellbeing as well”.
A new cycle shelter and shower is making a real difference to staff at Leighton Buzzard based C-Tec Limited. The company, which anodises and screen-prints metal products, received a grant from Travel Choices to install the facilities, enabling staff to consider cycling to work.
'Some staff members had bikes through the Cycle to Work scheme. However, we only had a makeshift cycle shelter meaning they were deterred from cycling to work on a regular basis’ says Frankie Patterson of C-Tec.
The grant from Travel Choices enabled the company to build a smart new shelter and install a shower.
‘The whole process was a real pleasure’ says Frankie ‘Travel Choices made it so simple and easy’
Now four members of staff from the factory floor, who all live in or around Leighton Buzzard, cycle to work each day. Among the cyclists is driver Martin Wright:
‘I used to walk to work but now cycle. It keeps me fit and means I get an extra ten minutes in bed every morning!’
At The Incuba sustainability isn’t simply an-add on - it's at it the heart of everything at the business and learning centre, an integral part of Central Bedfordshire College. The landmark building, located in Brewers Hill Road, is recognised for its environmental excellence by the British Research Establishment (BREEAM) and has been designed for low energy consumption, easy access to public transport and use by cyclists.
The Centre boasts bike shelters and showers for cyclists and encourages staff, tenants and visitors to walk to meetings or use the Busway. So approaching Travel Choices for funding to install a vehicle electric charging point in the car park made perfect sense.
Travel Choices can provide up to £3,000 to fund any site infrastructure provision that facilitates walking, cycling, public transport and more sustainable car use, including new cycle shelters, showers, changing rooms and electric vehicle charging points.
‘We work to a tight budget’ says Neil Wardell, Incuba Project Administrator ‘but with the help of Travel Choices we were able to install the points at very little cost to us. Chris Heaney from Travel Choices took care of the whole thing, making it easy and straightforward.’
Aldwyck Housing - Smarter Driving
Like most of us, Janet Manning thought the day she passed her driving test would be the last time she would have a driving lesson. But the Strategic Housing Manager from Aldwyck Housing Group recently got back in the driving seat to learn how to drive more economically, saving fuel and reducing emissions.
Aldwyck Housing took advantage of free smarter driving lessons offered by Travel Choices to businesses in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard. Learning to drive smarter can result in a reduction in the cost of staff business and personal travel of around 15%. Staff are trained on how to cut fuel consumption by making small, yet highly effective, changes to their driving technique.
The lessons are part of a package of benefits for businesses which includes grants to improve facilities to enable staff to walk and cycle to work, reduced bus fares and specially devised workplace travel plans.
‘When I did my test, nobody talked about driving economically but I can definitely see the advantages for Aldwyck and for me’ said Janet ‘I do quite a bit of driving for my job, covering an area from West Hertfordshire up to Northamptonshire so driving more efficiently will be a huge benefit’.
The main part of Janet’s session was two ‘laps’ of the local area. For the first journey she drove as she normally would. Then, after receiving some tips on smarter driving techniques from her instructor, she attempted the next lap using strategies such as reading the road more effectively in order to avoid excessive braking.
‘On my circuits I got an 48 miles per gallon on the first lap, and managed to increase this to 55 mpg on the second lap, using the advice from the instructor’ said Janet ‘The course was extremely worthwhile; I will now be trying to put all the tips and techniques into practice in my day to day driving!
Staff at Leighton Buzzard based Data Harvest have always been enthusiastic about cycling. A former director was a keen cyclist, a current member of staff is part of a cycling club and several members of staff cycle to work and have undertaken Bikeability training.
So when the company learned that Travel Choices could help them with a grant for a cycle shelter and shower, they jumped at the chance. The company installed two cycle shelters and then later a shower to enable cyclists to freshen up before work.
‘The process was really straightforward’ says Operations Director Kim Bak ‘we simply sent in quotes for approval and received the grant from Travel Choices shortly afterwards.’
Accounts Administrator Sally Keane cycles regularly to her job at the company, which manufactures data logging equipment for the education sector.
‘With the long hours people work, it’s often hard to fit in exercise’ she says ‘cycling to work gives me a chance to get some exercise as well as offering a convenient way to travel. The local cycle paths mean I can get to work easily and safely from my home in Leighton Buzzard; I arrive feeling really alert.’
St Augustine’s Academy, Dunstable were treated to a visit from British Cycling Go-Ride Coach, Catherine Ruffley.More >
Join us for some fresh air and friendship each Tuesday on our led walk.More >
The Travel Choices Questionnaire only takes a couple of minutes to complete and you could win a £10 Boots voucher in the next weekly draw.More >
Change to Service C Bus Route. Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th February. Worthington Road, Dunstable.More >