Modeshift interviewed Honorary Member Martin Day from Havering Council to find out what he enjoys about working in sustainable travel, and much more.
How long have you been involved in sustainable travel?
I started work at Havering Council in the summer of 2006 initially to deliver School Travel Plans, that was quite a year, our son was born, we moved house and I changed jobs. It was a three year appointment but I liked it so much I stayed! Since 2012 when the job role changed slightly after yet another restructure I have worked on lots of sustainable travel projects, from Walk to School week to Theatre in Education shows on transport and air quality, to Policy papers on electric vehicle charge points. It’s actually the variety I enjoy the most. Prior to that my career was with the Ministry of Defence in a range of roles, I could tell you more but…
What have you most enjoyed about your job?
Its largely been school focussed for most of those years so seeing with your own eyes the new infrastructure, kids riding bikes, families walking into schools together, those are the things that are most rewarding. Knowing you helped to make those things happen makes you feel good and they are very real. The schools have been enthusiastic from day one and remain so, they have won many awards over the years. They do it because they care.
Many of the challenges that existed back in 2006 are still there but the work we do collectively is definitely a force for good, so when we get obstacles put in our way as a profession, I feel we have an inbuilt resilience and sheer will to make a difference that we can overcome just about anything. That’s because we genuinely care about those issues and want to be part of the solution and empower others to be that as well.
What are you working on now and what’s next?
This year looks like it will be focussed on various cycling related projects and electric vehicle charge points as well as various school related projects. Though that may change, as it often does, which is why I look forward to opening the laptop and cracking on each day! Let’s hope that it’s a happy and healthy year for us all.
What do you like about being a member of Modeshift?
The sense of belonging, knowing others care about these things all over the UK and are battling away to make a difference. Feeling part of the big team makes you feel stronger and is vital for those in this field of work. The organisation has earnt its reputation as professional, compassionate, and determined. It’s a massive help to us all up and down the country and long may it be so!