In 2015, a host of South Durham companies made the commitment to build happier and healthier workforces with the support of the Local Motion workplace team.
Key companies such as Prefere Resins, Sabre Rail, North East Laboratory Services, Evans Business Centre and Smurfit Kappa all signed up to the Local Motion workplace package, making the pledge to support their staff and encourage healthier choices when traveling to and from work.
A fully funded initiative available to organisations in South Durham, the Local Motion workplace package supports businesses in the development of a workplace travel plan. Engaging employees via travel surveys and free incentives, a bespoke programme of activities and events encourages staff to get active and adopt sustainable travel modes.
Implementing a workplace travel plan can have significant benefits to both employee and business. For staff it encourages building healthy exercise into daily life whilst reducing the cost and time spent on journeys. In some cases, it even removes the need to own a car. It provides less stressful options for travel to work, and when implemented alongside initiatives to provide flexible working and less need to travel on business, can foster a better work-life balance.
For businesses, a workplace travel plan supports the overall health of a workforce whilst improving staff engagement and retention. It can save money through associated travel costs and increase efficiency through smarter working practices. Promoting sustainable alternatives through a bespoke travel plan; a business will also demonstrate corporate social responsibility through tangible benefits to the local community, the environment and the economy as a whole.
Local Motion at Sabre Rail
Due to the geographical location and noted preference by staff, the Sabre Rail travel plan identified cycling as a key mode of transport to promote and establish among staff. The Local Motion workplace team organised a competition where employees were paired up to battle it out in a WattBike competition, an event which set the ball rolling on a programme of cycling activities and initiatives for employees.
Local Motion offered trial sessions on electric bikes, free cycle training for all abilities and Dr Bike (cycle maintenance) workshops. Employees were also able to access Cyclescheme, a government initiative which enables employees to get bikes and accessories tax-free, saving on average about half the cost.
Through the Local Motion match funding scheme Sabre Rail built a cycle shelter to accommodate storage for up to 20 cycles for use by staff – Travel Ranger is pictured (above) officially opening the shelter at Sabre Rail.
All of these activities were provided as part of a wider package which can be tailored to specific business needs. Along with cycling and walking activities, additional programmes such as SAFED (Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving) courses, facilitated car share schemes and public transport taster tickets can be offered.
With the New Year looming, and resolutions to get fit in the offing, isn’t it time to think more seriously about implementing a workplace travel plan within your organisation? The Local Motion workplace team will facilitate the whole process from launch to implementation.
For more information on the process, contact Michael Dodds, Workplace Engagement Officer, on 03000 267907 or via e-mail [email protected]