Best sustainable travel initiative - Business

Car Share and Loan Bikes

Wigan Council believes that the health and well-being of their workforce is instrumental and important to working more effectively. As part of our new ways of working, Wigan Council staff are being encouraged to jump on board and be more active towards greener ways of travelling to work. To do this we have recently introduced a brand new car share and free 3 month bike loan scheme to staff which also complements Wigan Council’s Campus Travel Plan. Working together with Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM) we were able to implement and promote the free 3 month bike loan scheme which is particularly vital to new members of staff re-joining the workplace after a period of unemployment and having to wait a month or two to build up finances to afford travelling to work.

Local Authority contact details

David Scrivens Project Development Officer Planning and Transport Wigan Council Email; D.Scrivens@wigan.gov.uk Tel 01942 489243 North West Region 

Who was involved & what was their role?

Wigan Council’s Sustainable Travel Plan Officer Dawn Jones has been instrumental in promoting, delivering presentations to Senior Management, implementing new initiatives and changing policies to implement the car share scheme on staff car parks. She is very pro-active and enthusiastic in making significant contributions to sustainable travel and changing behavioural travel patterns successfully.

Details of cost budget, sources of funding

With the provisions supplied by TFGM the bike loan scheme had no associated costs. The cost that we incurred for the setup of the car share scheme was paid for by Facilities Management which was under £1000. We arranged for an amended Order to reflect changes in legislation/regulations to provide car share bays, and needed to publicise the Order for objections - no associated cost incurred.

How was it developed?

Encouraging car share at Wigan Council was difficult with free parking on all their car parks. However, we now have 4 designated car share bays with the view to extend on demand. To monitor the scheme there is a Traffic Regulation Order on the bays and car share permits must be displayed clearly in car windscreens (a minimum of two car share permits must be displayed). Regulatory signage has been installed next to the bays and a promotional banner was erected 4 weeks prior to the scheme starting. Dawn Jones organised the following channels of promotion to all staff; • Modeshift Weekly News • Car share road show • Council Intranet • Directors blog – to gain senior management support • Council social media • Posters • Emails Dawn was successful in promoting the 3 month loan bike scheme to staff which started in June 2017. Numerous staff have taken up the opportunity to cycle to work and leave the car at home, reducing the pressure on our free staff car parks.

What was the outcome, including information on future plans - one-off, on-going, develop further?

The successful outcome for the car share scheme was that staff accepted the problems on our car parks and took the opportunity to register on www.carsharegm.com helping towards relieving pressure and stress out of parking. Wigan Council are reducing Co2 emissions around the site and contributing to their staffs health and well-being. Dawns future plans are to increase the number of car share bays and reduce the number of cars on staff car parks. The 3 month bike loan scheme started in June 2017, instantly there was a good uptake and staff are cycling to work rather than driving. In the first 2 weeks more than 10 members of staff signed up with more joining daily. Staff can choose between a Hybrid bike and an Electric bike. There are an equal number of male and female cyclists joining. As an on-going development Dawn has organised more road shows for cycle training and maintenance classes to complement the loan bike scheme to encourage staff that have not cycled for many years.

How does this initiative or project meet the criteria?

Dawn’s enthusiastic approach along with her drive and ambition towards sustainable travel, health and well-being has proved to be successful in delivering these initiatives. The car share and loan bike schemes have proved very popular and cost effective with staff throughout the council they can also be transferable to workplaces, hospitals and further educational establishments. She has clearly identified important barriers with new employees starting work especially with staff returning to work after a long period of unemployment. It is important to remove barriers to using sustainable transport, whatever they may be, and at the council we have a number of existing initiatives which Dawn has set in place including; staff pool bikes, discounted public transport, and use of technology such as audio/videoconferencing, we are currently looking at Skyping. Dawn is responsible for the council’s travel plan which also supports agile working and flexible working.


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