Businesses urged to join Greater Manchester sustainable travel revolution
Contributed by Anonymous (not verified)
Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM’s) Travel Choices business team has helped 500 companies since it launched three years ago and now wants more firms to enjoy the advantages of encouraging employees to leave the car at home when they commute.
Once they become members of its Business Travel Network, companies and staff can benefit from exclusive initiatives and practical support to make travelling to work by foot, bike and public transport easier.
Some businesses have built cycling lockers, showers and changing facilities by successfully applying for grants of up to £10,000, while others have enjoyed free public transport taster tickets, loan bikes, organised walking and cycling events, workshops and bespoke travel advice for employees.
Supporting sustainable travel can bring significant benefits to businesses, including lower costs and increased productivity, better recruitment and retention of staff, a happier and healthier workforce, and can help towards meeting corporate social and environmental responsibilities.
Providing a staff parking space, for example, costs a business on average £400 per year* to maintain. Also, staff who cycle and walk can be fitter and healthier, with experts claiming regular cyclists take one sick day per annum less than non-cyclists+.
Companies and organisations in the network include Bruntwood, Thales, Stagecoach Manchester, JD Williams, the University of Manchester and Bolton at Home, as well as smaller businesses such as James Walker Townsend and Moss Cider.
Kellogg’s used a £10,000 sustainable travel grant to help fund the building of bike storage and a cyclist turnstile at its Trafford Park plant. Robert Squires, Environment Business Partner, said:
“We saw an almost immediate impact following the initial sessions run by the TfGM Travel Choices advisers.
“We’ve seen an increase in cycling and more people using the Bridgewater Way to get to work.”
Councillor Chris Paul, TfGM Committee Cycling and Active Travel Champion, said:
“The TfGM Travel Choices team has had a great response from companies across Greater Manchester since launching the Business Travel Network, including some of the biggest firms in the area, helping to reduce absenteeism, save money on parking management and increase productivity.
“They’ve helped secure more than £500,000 of grants for local firms, signed up more than 500 companies to the Business Travel Network and given travel advice to almost 20,000 employees.
“The network is about helping companies and staff make the most of the transport options available in Greater Manchester, hopefully save time and money, and help the environment in the process.”
All sizes of businesses can join the network and take advantage of the free services. The main package includes access to grants, online self-help materials, subscription to a monthly newsletter and access to the CarShareGM register, helping firms provide a car-sharing service for their employees.
Some companies are also offered extra services due to their particular circumstances, such as the size of the business, their proximity to new transport infrastructure, or if they are planning a relocation.
Companies interested in finding out more or signing up to the Business Travel Network can go to www.tfgm.com/businesstravel or contact the Travel Choices team on 0161 244 1264 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how they can help.