Helping your staff with their daily commute can be as simple as getting some cycle parking installed or putting up some local travel information on a notice board.
Giving employees real choices about how they travel to work makes for a happier, more energised workforce and a more productive business overall.
Don’t forget about business travel too. Individual trips can soon add up to a substantial cost – both in fares and mileage expenses, and in productive time lost to travelling. Did you know that office workers spend 23 days a year travelling to and from meetings?
Promoting smarter business travel helps you manage these costs. Reducing the need to travel, or simply making it easier for staff to choose a more sustainable mode, can lead to less time spent travelling, cost savings for your business, and a happier, more engaged workforce.
How we can work with your business
Support from Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council, and partners:
Why is this beneficial for your business?
Some of the benefits associated with promoting more active and sustainable travel to your workplace include:
- Reducing the cost of maintaining parking spaces
- Reducing fleet costs and mileage claims
- Releasing land formerly used for car parking for more productive purposes
- Reducing staff downtime spent travelling on business
- Enhancing accessibility to a site for staff, visitors and suppliers
- Reducing pressure on parking spaces so they are available to those with most need for them
- Tackling congestion, both on and off site
- Maintaining good relationships with neighbouring communities, or improving an organisation’s image
- Promoting health and stress-reduction
- Reduced absenteeism and increased staff productivity
- Providing additional employee benefits
How you can this benefit your employees?
For employees it can:
- Reduce journey times to work
- Reduce the cost of travel to work
- Give opportunities to build exercise and stress-relief into daily life
- Ensure parking for those with most need to access a vehicle
- Ensure access to tax-saving schemes, for example the Cycle to Work scheme
- Promote team-building and access to social networks within the workplace
- Provide additional non-monetary perks
By encouraging active and sustainable travel, you can show employees you are happy to invest in their wellbeing and help create a healthier, more productive workforce.
We have worked with many businesses across the county and realise that not one size fits all. We have many useful tools and materials to help you get started including experienced staff and partners who can offer a wealth of knowledge on best practice. Take a look at some of the achievements made by local businesses who have already worked in partnership with us.
If your business falls outside our current target area, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we may be able to help.
Sustainable Travel Grant for Business
In 2019/20, businesses can apply for grants of up to £5000 to implement changes which encourage staff and visitors to travel by active and sustainable travel modes. The grant is available to businesses that are in the Access Fund area or to businesses that have at least 50% of their workforce living in these areas. The designated areas, within the blue border, can be viewed on this Access Fund Boundary Map.
The business is expected to match fund the grant, although this can be in kind, by providing staff time or a venue for a promotional event, for example. Applications of more than one grant are accepted, as long as the total is not more than £5000. Here you can find the Access Fund Grant Application 2019 for a sustainable travel grant for businesses.
Discovery Rides & Walks 2019/20
Leicester City Council’s Walking and Cycling Team offer a Discovery Rides and Walks programme. Completely free to businesses in Leicester, the programme aims to encourage employees to use active travel on their commute.
This programme will offer the following:
- An 8-week series of led walks and cycle rides (1 session per week). These cycle rides and walks will show employees ‘green’ option commute routes, good lunch spots and attempt to overcome some of the barriers that employees face with active travel
- The option to use pedal bikes or try out brand new electric bikes
- Employees will also receive weekly emails with walking/cycling tips, links to useful websites, and different walking and cycling challenges
Travel Roadshow for Employees
The Walking & Cycling Team can stage an event at your business where we have an information stall, focusing on the staff commute, giving employees walking and cycling advice, coupled with information about other sustainable travel options, including Park & Ride. In conjunction with our event, our partners Sustrans and Livings Streets could provide Dr Bike (a bike fix), a discounted sale of locks and lights, walking pledges and a walk doctor. A body composition monitor will also be brought along to offer staff insight into their physical health. Increasing activity through the commute – a journey that staff have to make anyway – will lead to a better level of physical health.
Staff Personal Travel Planning
Have bespoke travel plans created for your staff to get to and from home to work. The Walking & Cycling Team will assess the needs of individual staff in order to provide a complete plan of sustainable travel options. We can go through plans with individual staff and accompany them on their commute to and from work, at a mutually agreed time, if the journey is taken on foot or by bike. Development of a plan requires staff to fill out a short form, outlining information such as start and end postcode and start and finish work times. Where relevant, staff are then offered free incentives such as the One Card (Leicester Weekly Flexi Bus Ticket) or a pedometer.
Free electric bike taster sessions for your staff. Sessions will show staff how to use an e-bike and the benefits which can experienced from them.
Dr Bike, Cycle Maintenance Sessions and Discounted Sale of Locks and Lights (Sustrans)
- Dr Bike provides free bike safety checks for your staff. Staff book their bike into a 30 minute time slot in which a certified mechanic will check over the bike – any problems which can’t be resolved in the 30 minutes are written on a check sheet and left with the bike
- Also available are group or one to one cycle maintenance sessions. During these sessions, a certified mechanic will show staff how to check/fix the various components on their bike
- Discounted D-locks and bike lights can be purchased at Dr Bike and cycle maintenance sessions
- Bike security marking sessions are also available
Walking Pledges (Living Streets)
A Living Streets Coordinator will offer staff tips and suggestions on how to incorporate walking into daily routines and encourage them to make a personal and realistic pledge to walk more.
Walk Doctor (Living Streets)
Walk Doctors are a more focused version of the walking pledge events, offering staff a one-to-one consultation to discuss their travel choices and providing personalised advice based on their goals and circumstances.
Free Walking & Cycling maps of Leicester are available. Maps help to show where all of the walking and cycling infrastructure is located in the city and give you confidence to find your way around.
If any of our offers are of interest to your business, please get in touch via email.
Smartgo travel networks offer a programme that will transform workplace travel for employers.
Developed and co-ordinated by sustainable transport specialist, Go Travel Solutions, with support from Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and the Department for Transport, Smartgo travel networks help local businesses to make commuting and business travel cheaper, easier and more sustainable.
Through a partnership of local employers, travel providers and the public sector, Smartgo provides a comprehensive travel offer, business support and opportunities for shared travel projects.
Find out more
As well as working direct with your business, check out our useful advice below, with links to various sustainable travel initiatives that could benefit your organisation and employees:
But there are benefits to employers, too…
- A healthy workforce is a happy workforce. Regular exercise and fresh air are important for anyone’s health and wellbeing. Employees will arrive at work ready for their day, energised by their daily dose of endorphins! Employers will benefit from a more alert, less stressed workforce, who will be off work sick less often.
- Congestion-proof. Your employees will no longer be held up on their way to work by congested roads. Walkers and cyclists can glide-by the traffic jams.
- A cleaner, greener reputation. Promoting walking and cycling among your workforce can mean fewer cars on the road and some less congested streets. You’ll be setting an example to your neighbours, and you might even enjoy the benefits of some positive press if you showcase your efforts!
- A better environment. Walking and cycling produce no pollution, so the local environment around your workplace will be a cleaner one – good for everyone, everywhere in Leicestershire.
- Fewer car parking headaches. Some businesses spend a lot of time trying to sort out their car parking spaces – often a thankless task. Helping employees to get out of their cars (even if only for one or two days a week) means less pressure on car parking – all for the very reasonable price of some cycle stands and showers!
Help to encourage walking and cycling
There are programmes and facilities already available, which can help your employees start walking and cycling more:-
Workplace Challenge is a national programme delivered locally by Leicester-Shire & Rutland Sport (LRS), comprising an activity log, sport competitions and an annual business games.
Find out how your business can get involved by contacting LRS for a workplace health consultation.
Discover how you can revolutionise your employees’ lunch breaks and add activity into the working day by downloading the Flexible Lunch Break Manifesto.
Active Travel Hinckley
The Active Travel Hinckley initiative encourages local residents and employees of Hinckley businesses to think actively about their travel and get walking, cycling and running more often.
Find out how we can work with your business to offer cycle training to build up your employees’ confidence and safety on the roads. Staff will receive tuition by a professional cycle instructor. Subject to availability, bikes and helmets can be borrowed by those who don’t have them.
Public cycle parking
Leicester city centre boasts two secure indoor bike parks, which also offer changing facilities for commuters’ convenience:
- CCTV coverage
- Showers and toilets
- Lockers (daily use only) and changing rooms
- On-site repair shop
- Pay as you go and membership options available
- Open 7 days per week (no overnight parking)
- CCTV coverage
- Changing rooms
- £10 one-off charge for key fob
- Unlimited free parking during station opening hours
East Midlands Trains also offers a secure cycle hub in Loughborough:
- CCTV coverage
- Self-service tool station and pump
- £10 one-off charge for key fob
- Unlimited free parking (24/7)
Want a unique solution for your business?
Try these suggestions:
- Provide changing facilities. Offering showers, lockers or changing facilities will make many of your employees think it easier to integrate cycling or walking into their office routine. Walkers may want somewhere to leave spare shoes (or even muddy boots), cyclists may want to shower or at least change their clothes at work. Both groups will undoubtedly need somewhere to leave wet clothing at some point too!
- Provide bicycle parking. Offering a secure, sheltered area for employees to leave their bikes will make them feel safer about leaving their pride and joy outside the office all day.
- Set up a cycle to work scheme. This government-backed initiative allows employees to benefit from a long-term loan of bikes and commuting equipment such as lights, locks and panniers completely tax free. Employers benefit from fitter, more punctual, more wide-awake staff. Employees benefit from better health and better bikes because their money goes further. Read guidance from the Department for Transport on implementing a cycle to work scheme, or see this useful article on the BikeHub website.
- Share routes. Some of your employees will already cycle or walk to work. Encourage them to share their route with others who live near them, and offer to show them the way. Why not create a map of everyone’s walk and cycle commute on the wall of your office, so people can find out about different routes?
Why choose public transport?
- Less stress. When you’re sitting on a bus or a train your mind is free to wander – forget the stress of concentrating on the road. You can sit back and relax. You’ve got time to think, read, listen to music or browse the internet. Your employees will arrive relaxed and motivated, ready to start their working day.
- Extra work time. Your employees can check their emails and have the time to reply on buses and trains. For employees who have more miles to cover on a train, they can do some extra work on their way in or way home, if they like!
- Beat the queues. Many bus services in urban areas can take advantage of dedicated bus lanes and bypass the rush hour queues, leading to a quicker, more reliable journey. Travel by train and you’re also less likely to be delayed and can cover a greater distance in a shorter time than by car.
- Helps the environment. Having fewer employees drive to work means less pollution and a cleaner local environment.
- Active. Your employees will walk at each end of their journey, which means they’ll get the benefits of daily exercise without having to go out of their way.
See our public transport section for more information.
Here are some ways to encourage your staff to try a different way to get to work:
- Saver tickets and special offers: If your employees are aware of the deals that they can benefit from, they are more likely to try out the different options. Most local bus operators offer a variety of multi-journey saver tickets for passengers who make regular journeys on their services, covering anything from unlimited all-day travel, right through to an annual pass. When compared with buying a single ticket per journey, significant savings can be made. Take a look at our public transport section and click ‘bus fares and tickets’ or ‘special offers’.
- Journey planner: Our journey planner has all the information you need to work out how to get from A to B on public transport. It’s set up to work on a computer, smartphone or tablet, so anyone can use it. Make your employees aware of the journey planner, or why not go the extra mile and have a dedicated computer terminal in your reception which employees and visitors can use?
Why car sharing is a good choice for your employees:
- It’s sociable. On their way in to work, your employees can have a chat, and ease themselves in to the working day.
- It saves parking spaces. You’ll have fewer staff cars to accommodate at your workplace – meaning more spaces for visitors, or for those who come from further afield. There might not even be a need to keep all the space you have for parking if the scheme is successful – why not transform a rarely used parking space into a small bit of green space? Grass and flowers certainly looks better than tarmac!
- It saves money. Your employees will spend less of their precious pounds getting to work and be able to spend more on what they want!
- It helps the environment. Fewer cars on the road means less congestion and better air quality.
Help getting started
Encouraging your employees to think about car sharing couldn’t be easier. Choose How You Move Carshare – Leicester & Leicestershire’s FREE online car sharing network – does all the administration and route matching for you.
If you have a fairly significant number of employees at your organisation, who travel to work from similar areas, you might want to create a FREE private scheme for your employees, which can be accessed through Choose How You Move Carshare. Please contact us for details.