Medway Council's Travel Plan
Measures to encourage car sharing
The Medway Carshare website helps people to find car sharing opportunities when appropriate. The scheme aims to reduce the cost of travel to work, increase social interaction, decrease the number of trips on the highways network and to reduce demand for parking. Medway Carshare is part of the national liftshare network and also gives opportunities to search for longer journeys to be shared.
Measures to encourage public transport use
Medway Council’s company travel plan aims to encourage public transport use. The council strives to increase the development of quality partnerships with bus and rail operators to help improve the quality, reliability and speed of public transport. A partnership has been developed with the local bus operator, Arriva.
Measures to reduce trips to the office
With developments in information and communications technology (ICT), it is now no longer essential to have a dedicated workspace or to visit the office daily. Alternative working practices can be developed, which reduce the need for staff to be tied to the office. In addition, the development of flexible working patterns presents opportunities to change staff working patterns.
Schemes implemented in conjunction with the Travel Plan are:
The nine-day fortnight
The implementation of the nine-day fortnight allows council staff to work longer hours each day, totalling 74 hours in nine days, thereby allowing them to take one day off in 10. The application of a nine-day fortnight cannot be universal, due to the need to maintain office cover.
Reduced office attendance
The use of reduced office attendance is likely to be selective, being applicable to more professional or creative jobs, particularly report-writing, where there is a need for a quiet environment.
Homeworking is a system where staff are based at home with all the necessary ICT links to ensure effective communication. This system is best suited to officers who make regular site visits to meet other people.
The benefit of this scheme is that it reduces the need for staff to travel, reduces the stress associated with travelling and saves time. It is likely to increase productivity, as staff are more focused and it allows staff to think creatively. Homeworking is more likely to be applicable to people who are generally mobile but require a base to receive and send email. By only working from home occasionally, people can avoid the risk of social isolation.
This way of working requires more effective management and training may be required on managing from a distance while maintaining operational cover.
Measures to encourage cycling and walking
Cycling is nationally recognised as having a clear potential as a substitute for short car trips, particularly those under five kilometres and to form part of a longer journey by public transport. Many staff live within cycling distance and there is potential for encouraging cycling in appropriate circumstances.
Staff support for cycling is good at the three main sites. Cycle facilities, such as cycleways, have been provided in many parts of Medway. Walking and Cycling Action Plans have been produced which seek to fill in the network and provide new links.
Measures to encourage motorcycling
Motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers can provide the convenience of personal transport without the problems of high fuel consumption, large parking spaces, congestion and pollution associated with cars. With relatively minor changes, this method of personal transport could become attractive for the journey to work and therefore reduce car usage.