Lancaster University has been awarded the title of Commuter Friendly Workplace of the Year in the ACT TravelWise awards for sustainable travel.
The award is for the organisation that can demonstrate having made the biggest strides towards making their offices more accessible to commuters without single occupancy car use.
The proportion of staff travelling to work by bus has doubled since 2004 while the proportion travelling alone by car is down by 17% and the proportion of staff car sharing is up by 17% over the same period from 2007 to 2011.
The University now has the highest cycle to work rate of any Lancashire employer at just over 14%, while the number of students cycling or walking to campus has doubled in less than two years.
Travel and Environment Co-ordinator Phil Longton said the University’s Travel Plan had been key.
He said: “By 2008 the Travel Plan had been extremely successful in achieving its objectives and had been recognised and promoted by the Department for Transport for doubling student cycling and walking in less than two years. Student car use was reduced by 32% in just 21 months.
“Last year, a uniquely successful partnership with Stagecoach introduced heavily subsidised annual staff bus passes, brand new University-branded buses, new bus routes, ticketing and other service improvements utilising a high frequency bus service. This increased staff bus use by 71%. “
Other improvements from the Travel Plan include:
• A 288% increase in the sale of Staff Car Share Permits from 2009/10 to 2010/11 following a 33% price reduction for the permit and other benefits to raise car sharing levels
• More postgraduate research students cycle than travel by car
• Cycle counter data from the University cycle path revealed a 20% increase in cycling in just two years and an average growth of 57% in April, May and June between 2007 and 2010. These increases were delivered in partnership with Lancaster City Council’s Cycling Demonstration Town Project
• 214 bicycles sold through Green Lancaster since October 2009, including 147 reconditioned cycles.
• Over 230 staff and students have registered a journey on Sharedwheels since 2006, the University’s online contacting system to enable more car sharing.