New drive to get commuters out of their carsWeek-long 'smart commuting' campaign gets underway
27 October 2008
A new campaign has been launched to get commuters out of their cars and into greener, more cost-effective modes of transport.
Commute Smart Week, which started on Sunday, aims to save businesses and their employees cash by promoting cheaper alternatives to cars such as cycling, walking and public transport.
Organisers said businesses could also make savings – and cut pollution – by adopting flexible working plans that allow employees to work from home.
Workplace travel plans
Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK, the not-for-profit organisation behind Commute Smart Week, said: ‘Thousands of employers are already helping themselves and their staff through workplace travel plans.
'Policies such as staggering work journeys, home working, and encouraging cycling and walking, are enabling staff to get to work in a better way – saving time and money whilst improving health and wellbeing.'
Confederation of British Industry (CBI) estimates show road congestion costs the UK economy £20bn a year. But Work Wise UK said even a limited take-up of workplace travel plans could save £1.9bn per year within five years.
As the Which? guide to car clubs shows, some commuters who rely on the flexibility of a car can save money and reduce their impact on the environment by joining a car club such as Streetcar.
James Noakes from ACT TravelWise, a group of organisations that promotes sustainable transport, said: 'In these cost-conscious times, employees and employers are looking at the cost of travel and realising the absurd waste of time and resources – especially of one person commuting by car.
'Smarter commuting, such as walking, cycling, car sharing and reducing the number of journeys by allowing remote working, leads to better productivity and cuts business costs.'
He added that new attitudes to commuting could help businesses avoid ‘hidden costs’ such as those associated with parking and mileage allowances.
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