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Smarter travel for organisations

Organisations generate a large number of trips by staff, visitors, students, deliveries or servicing. Smarter ways of thinking about travel and transport can help your organisation relieve parking pressures, reduce your carbon footprint and even reduce business travel costs.

Smarter travel choices for organisations

Whilst the choices we make as individuals have a major impact on the world around us, organisations can also enable smarter travel choices for their employees, visitors, customers, students. Here are five suggestions:

  • Promote car sharing for staff. Anyone can use the West Lothian Tripshare scheme for free, but private groups for organisations can also be set up within the scheme for an additional fee. You might also want to give car-sharers priority parking on-site. Visit the Car Sharing Scheme page for more details.
  • Love to Ride Central Scotland - You can read more about Love to Ride West Central Scotland and join for free at Love to Ride Central Scotland (opens new window). The website is open for use and anyone can register and set themselves personal cycling goals beyond September.
  • Prepare a Travel Plan. A Travel Plan can be a useful framework for action on sustainable transport for your organisation (more information below).
  • Carry out a Sustainable Business Transport Review. The Energy Savings Trust in Scotland offers a free review service of your transport and travel arrangements to help you save money and cut carbon emissions. Find out more at Energy Savings Trust - Sustainable and Low Carbon Transport (opens new window).
  • Become a Cycle Friendly Employer. Cycling Scotland has developed the nationally recognised Cycle Friendly Employer Award (opens new window) for Scottish organisations committed to increasing cycling. West Lothian Council can help you with cycle training and more - visit our Walking and Cycling pages.

Still interested? Here's five more:

  • Go electric. Whether you're buying or replacing a vehicle, consider an electric vehicle (EVs). They can save your organisation money and cut carbon emissions. Find out more at Energy Saving Trust (opens new window).
  • Organise a led bike ride or walk. Scheduling a walk or cycle at lunchtime (or after work) is a great way to get some exercise and explore the local path network. The Council's Smarter Choices Smarter Places programme (see below) can help fund a place on a Cycle Ride Leader course - head to Clubs, groups and training for details of forthcoming courses. Cycling Scotland is also offering free cycle ride leader training to any organisation registered as a Cycle Friendly Employer (details above).
  • Sign up to a cycle to work scheme. Employees can save at least 25% on the cost of a new bike and accessories by paying through salary sacrifice. Find out how employers can sign up at Cyclescheme (opens new window).
  • Reduce the need to travel. IT and flexible working arrangements can reduce the need to travel in the first place. 
  • Provide information. Whether it's cycle maps in the lobby or a link to Traveline Scotland (opens new window) on your website - make information on sustainable travel options prominent and accessible to all.

Travel plans

A travel plan is a package of measures and initiatives that aims to reduce the number of single-occupancy car journeys by providing people with a greater choice.

This choice can include car-sharing schemes, improved cycling and walking facilities, better bus services, restricted car parking allocations, travel information or incentive schemes. It can also mean flexible-working practices such as remote access, home working and video conferencing.

Travel plans come in all shapes and sizes but the most common ones are workplace travel plans, residential travel plans, school travel plans and personal travel plans.

A Travel Plan has the potential to generate a number of benefits. Amongst many, it can:

  • Achieve carbon reduction and other environmental gains by promoting and adopting more sustainable modes of transport;
  • Help the local community by reducing traffic on roads and helping to improve public transport services;
  • Provide financial savings by reducing the need to travel using single occupancy car journeys;
  • Contribute towards a healthier workforce by promoting active travel and less stressful modes of travel; and
  • Contribute towards a more productive workforce by reducing the need to travel and providing the opportunity to work whilst on route to a destination.

As well as considering the journey to work, travel plans can also cover business travel. The Energy Savings Trust in Scotland offers a free Sustainable Business Transport Review service - see Related Links for more details.