Travel plan measures

The previous travel plan and the results of a new travel survey were examined to help us decide on measures.

The previous travel plan brought about:

Public transport:

  • Interaction with public transport operators and Nexus about improvements to provision and infrastructure
  • Promotional campaigns and displays at Council offices
  • Discounted annual public transport passes offered to staff for Metro, Go North East ‘Key Card’ and Network One (Rail, Arriva and Stagecoach passes are also available)
  • Provision of Metro Business Passes for work journeys between 9.30 – 5pm and ongoing evaluation of their use

Car share:

  • Promotion of a car share scheme for staff

Car parking:

  • Reviews of Civic Centre, Prince Consort Rd and Shearlegs Road car parks and investigation and implementation of a Car Park Charging/Permit Scheme

Local congestion:

  • A review of Civic Centre-related traffic congestion, e.g. on Arthur Street

Pool vehicles:

  • Implementation of a pool vehicle scheme for the Civic Centre, including dedicated parking areas. Overseeing and reviewing the current Co Wheels pool cars offer

Residential parking zones:

  • Parking zones in place around Council premises

Walking promotion:

  • Production of a map showing distances from main Council premises
  • Support for Gateshead Health Walks initiative

Cycling:

  • Support for the implementation of HMRC’s Cycle to Work Scheme for Gateshead Council
  • Provision and monitoring of use of secure cycle storage and showering/changing facilities

Visitors to Civic Centre

  • Promotion of sustainable travel to visitors to Civic Centre

Staff Travel Survey

A staff travel survey was conducted in late 2013 and the results analysed to help decide what should form part of the new plan.

Response and respondents:

  • Response rate was 23% (of approx 1660 staff based at Civic Centre)
  • 83% of those responding work full time
  • Civic Centre respondents start work on average at 8:17 and depart on average at 16.49 (earlier on Fridays – 16:35)

Journey to work – results:

  • 47% drive a car alone
  • 17% car share
  • 4% cycle
  • 27% use public transport (bus 12%, metro 15%)
  • 3% walk
  • 1% travel by train
  • 1% travel by motorcycle

Straight to work, or part of a two or three leg journey?

Half of all journeys were direct to Civic, but for the remainder it formed part of a two or three leg journey.

Reasons for travel choice?

  • 31% stated convenience
  • 18% stated time savings
  • 15% stated cost
  • 12% stated availability
  • 9% stated work commitments/needs

Occasional use of another mode of transport?

Results indicated that there was quite a lot of flexibility, with 30% indicating they sometimes used a different mode and this is most likely to be public transport.

Use of pool cars?

Results showed a reasonable use of pool cars with approx. 24% of respondents using them for visiting sites/other places and other Council sites in Gateshead.

 

What would encourage use of another mode of travel?

Metro and bus?

19% and 18% (resp) indicated nothing would encourage them to change travel mode to metro or bus.

For those that responded otherwise, the most important factors were subsidised or cheaper fares, followed by ‘more frequent or reliable services at the times I need to travel’, then ‘up to date travel information at work on route, times and fares.’ (‘Less crowded services’ was also a factor in respect of buses).

Cycling?

‘Nothing would encourage me to cycle’ was the most popular response. Shower facilities and secure parking were most important factors cited which would influence change, followed by locker facilities, then loans for cycle purchase, and finally information on routes.

Walking?

‘Nothing would encourage me to walk’ was the most popular response. Safer crossing facilities, improved lighting/security on route and more locker/storage facilities at work were the most important factors to influence change.

Car sharing?

‘Nothing would encourage me to car share’ was most cited, however this was the most answered question in relation to respondents indicating what would be influencing factors. In order they were:

  • help in finding a partner with similar work patterns
  • incentives for car sharers; and
  • preferential parking

Business travel – the survey responses revealed:

38% travel less than once a week on business-related trips. Only 8% travel for work every day (sometimes several times a day). The locations travelled to are most likely to be ‘sites or other places in Gateshead’ (36%), ‘other Council sites’ (27%), other local authorities in Tyne and Wear (15%) and businesses in Gateshead and businesses and organisations in Tyne and Wear (15%).

When visiting ‘sites or other places in Gateshead’, approx. half of respondents drive alone, 24% use pool cars and 14% car share.

When visiting ‘other Council sites’, 39% will drive a car alone, 23% will use pool cars and 16% car share.

When visiting businesses in Gateshead, only 14% of staff uses pool cars and 29% car share (only about 5% use public transport).

For visits to other local authorities in Tyne and Wear, Metro is well used (55%), however driving alone is indicated by approx.1/3 of respondents.

For trips to businesses and other organisations in Tyne and Wear, public transport is less popular (approx. 20%), with driving alone accounting for 39%.

At least half of those respondents indicating ‘driving alone’ as their main mode to work also indicate they drive alone to any business destination in Tyne and Wear.

Alternatives to Travel – the survey responses revealed:

21% of Civic Centre respondents use the telephone or telephone conferencing as an alternative to travel, however 30% indicated it was a realistic option.

Video-conferencing is far less used with only 3% having used it, but 43% indicating it was an option.

Although only 3% of respondents indicated they were working compressed hours, 57% indicated it would be realistic for them.

Only 15% of respondents currently carry out home working but 60% indicated it would be an option.

Comparing the 2006 and 2013 travel survey shows:

  • An 8% reduction in car use
  • A 4% increase in use of public transport
  • A 5% increase in active travel

Although changes to the prevailing economic climate, staff profile, the way mode is measured and an altered survey sample must be factored in, the results potentially reflect positively on travel plan implementation (including the recently introduced permit parking scheme at the Civic Centre).

Information is also available on the travel survey undertaken with Councillors and Civic Centre visitors, as well as the recent analysis of parking and cycle parking.

Please email us at TravelSmarterGateshead@Gateshead.Gov.UK to request more detail on this.

What does the analysis of the survey results mean for the updated Travel Plan?

Driving     

The survey showed that 64% of Civic Centre staff arrive at work by car (although 17% of this figure are car-sharing). There is clear scope for the Travel Plan to achieve a further reduction in favour of more sustainable modes of travel.

Public transport    

There is potential to increase the current figure of 27% using public transport for their work journey. Gateshead has very good public transport links and the Council offer discounted annual travel passes for bus and Metro which can be paid for via monthly salary deductions. The travel plan will address more effective and consistent promotion of public transport.

Cycling    

There is potential to increase the numbers cycling from the current percentage of 4%. The 2013 travel survey reinforced the results of the 2006 survey in relation to what would be important influencing factors in persuading colleagues to change to cycling. The plan will assess the capacity and standard of amenity of shower/changing facilities and secure parking and how they might be improved/updated within the constraints of available funding.

Walking    

There is potential to increase the figure of 4% walking their work journeys. The plan should address more effective promotion of walking and partnership working with Gateshead Council’s Get Walking Team and Public Health colleagues.

Car sharing    

Although car sharing is already a reasonably popular option, more sharing could help produce a noticeable improvement in congestion and on-street parking. Colleagues indicated that they needed help in finding a car share partner and more effective promotion of the car share database, ShareSmarter will be undertaken to help with this.

Home working    

Only 15% of survey respondents currently work from home occasionally or regularly, but 60% indicated that home working could be an option for them. The travel plan will assess how best to promote and increase homeworking and how it can make a contribution to a reduction in car journeys.

Business travel     ↓ 

There is clear scope to further reduce the use of private vehicles for business-related journeys made during the working day, and increase the use of pool cars. The Travel Plan will encourage and facilitate greater scrutiny of private vehicle mileage claims alongside more widespread use of pool cars. Use of Metro business pass and Go North East key card bus passes will be promoted and use monitored to establish if demand is being met. Tele and video conferencing will be promoted as a method of avoiding unnecessary journeys. Walking and cycling will be promoted as alternatives for journeys of an appropriate distance and assistance will be provided to colleagues to identify locations falling within achievable walking and cycling zones.

See Objectives and Targets of the new Travel Plan.