Contribution to sustainable travel - Team

Travel champions

intu have taken the bold approach to embrace Travel champions at each of our 14 centres and at our Head Office location. Supporting the Regional sustainable travel managers, our Travel champions provide a day-to-day point of contact, a focus for sustainable travel issues at each centre as well as giving face-to-face resource so that staff, retailers and customers can discuss their travel requirements or issues. This is in addition to the Travel Champion’s main role within the company. Champions are tasked with supporting / arranging and managing sustainable travel events and raising awareness of all modes of travel. They also play a key role in administering staff travel surveys and helping to develop and refresh the main travel plans for each centre. In short, the champions are the ‘eyes and ears’ for sustainable travel within our centres and they have the ability to inform and support hundreds of thousands of customers, retailers and staff.

Local Authority contact details

Mat Kiely - Sustainable Travel Manager - intu 07553 377 665

Who was involved & what was their role?

We have 17 Travel Champions at intu. Their roles range from Customer Services to Shopmobility to H&S Manager. The Travel champions are the first point of contact within our centres and therefore need to be accessible to staff and retailers.

Details of cost budget, sources of funding

The Travel champion role is an addition to the substantive role undertaken by colleagues. The equivalent of approximately one day a week is allocated to the champion role at each centre. A small budget is allocated to each centre so that small scale issues can be addressed alongside wider external funding (e.g. LSTF, workplace travelgrants) as can be secured by the Sustainable Travel Manager.

How was it developed?

The Travel Champion role was developed to provide local support to intu’s Sustainable Travel Manager which was initially a national role and it was recognised that a dedicated person was needed at each centre to provide sustainable travel and travel plans with the right level of focus and priority required for staff, retailers and customers. The Champions also provide an informal audit role, undertaking weekly checks on bus stations and bus stops, checking that timetable information is up-to-date and correct. They also monitor cycle parking areas, ensuring they are clean, accessible and safe. In 2017, the Champions were responsible for arranging and supporting dozens of events including Dr Bike sessions and Guided Bike Rides in Bike Week, Guided Walks and the World Walking app within National Walking Month and they also provide regular support and updates for staff, retailers and customers.

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

The Travel Champion role continues to grow. Our Champions are now developing Instant Travel Plans for each centre and managing the travel survey process. They continue to have an excellent relationship with retailers, staff and customers, understanding the day-to-day issues encountered at our centres. The champion role enables intu to focus on sustainable travel and the role is a good opportunity to raise awareness for all of the sustainable travel initiatives that we arrange and support.

How does this initiative or project meet the criteria?

The provision of Travel Champions at each intu shopping centre identifies our commitment to supporting sustainable travel. It reinforces our commitment to delivering Bold, Creative and Innovative solutions within the business that most other employers would not consider. Travel Champions can sometimes be nothing more than a name or a title. However, at intu we ensure that this is not the case. The intu Champions are very committed individuals who show a real passion for sustainable travel and encouraging and enabling others to get involved. Each of our Champions was chosen because of their approachability and the ease with which they can communicate with customers, retailers and staff. They understand the importance of encouraging and enabling sustainable travel modes at our centres and how important this will be as we look to develop further across the intu group. The fact that Champions are already part of the team means that they are a sustainable resource.

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