|Glenda Jackson presents Sarah Hinton of Scientific Generics with their Cycle Friendly award|
In May, Transport Minister Glenda Jackson was in Cambridge at the invitation of the Travel for Work Partnership, to attend its 1999 conference A Moving Business. Cambridge Cycling Campaign is a partner in the scheme, which most of you will already know exists to promote alternatives to car travel through businesses.
The conference was set up to share progress and good practice among the organisations signed up with the scheme. Glenda Jackson’s role was to set the project in the wider political context, and to present certificates to each of the companies that have now prepared Green Travel Plans or for those who are part of the Cycle Friendly Employers part of the scheme, Cycle Plans.
After some years of local initiatives, like the Travel for Work scheme, central government has become more involved recently. The transport white paper last year recognised the importance of Green Travel Plans, and more recently the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has produced a guide and started organising seminars around the country. Local Transport Plan guidance recommends such schemes, though whether there is any LTP money to support them is another matter.
At our own conference, representatives of several of the member companies gave presentations to the 70 or so people who attended. For example, we heard about
- how company cars were phased out in co-operation with employees over time;
- how incentives might be offered to make a switch from car to bike;
- how secure cycle parking had been installed; and
- how emergency arrangements had been put in place to deal with people’s insecurity about being stranded without a car.
|The award winners|
For the attendees who had not reached the stage of preparing a Plan, the morning provided an excellent opportunity to learn about how others have gone about the task, which obviously differs according to company culture, size, location and so on. Feedback afterwards suggested that this had provided a lot of inspiration to move forward.
In the meantime, you will know from the advert included with the last newsletter that Teresa Broadstock, co-ordinator of the Travel for Work scheme, will be returning to Australia later in the year. We have now appointed David Meiklejohn, who currently works with Teresa, as Cycle Friendly Employers scheme co-ordinator, to the post. Therefore we will be advertising for a replacement for David in the not too distant future, though details have still to be arranged and funding secured. Watch this space, as they say.