How do you travel to work?

05/09/2019 11:44am

Nelson City Council is working with some of the region’s big employers to make it easier for more people to travel to work differently, rather than sitting in a car on their own.

Single occupant vehicles are a major cause of congestion on our roads, and they add to carbon emissions.

Council’s Travel Demand Management Adviser helps employers with workplace surveys to find out how staff are travelling to work and what needs to happen for them to consider alternatives like walking, cycling, public transport or ride-sharing. 

The Cawthron Institute is one workplace that is already well advanced in this area. 27% of their staff walk or cycle to work, according to a recent staff survey, which is higher than average for Nelson. 

It hasn’t happened by accident. Over the past few years, the Institute, at the instigation of enthusiastic staff, has removed some of the barriers that prevent people from making an active travel choice. There are showers and changing areas available and plenty of room to safely park your bike.

Cawthron provides six bikes and six electric scooters for staff. They initially purchased two scooters for their town office in mid-March to assist with the commute between their Hardy Street and Halifax Street East offices. They proved to be so popular with staff that another four were purchased for their Halifax Street site. Since mid-March, the two town e-scooters have done 499km, that’s the equivalent of Nelson to Akaroa! Helmets are provided for staff safety. 

They have found that fun challenges help to encourage people to try active travel and help to build momentum for those who are already doing it. Each summer they run a challenge called the RACE, which stands for Rewarding Active Cawthron Employees/Revolution Against Carbon Emissions. Last summer 60 staff members participated and logged a total of 244,576 exercise minutes as part of the event. That equates to $5000 in fuel savings and 4000kg of CO2, an amazing achievement. Prizes, monthly morning tea announcements and some healthy rivalry between departments keep the challenge engaging and exciting for staff. 

The team cite improving staff wellbeing by making it easier to be active during the workday and reducing carbon emissions as the key reasons for getting involved but say the benefits go far beyond that.
If you’d like help to get a similar process started at your workplace, please drop a line to our Travel Demand Management Advisor

It could be easier and much more fun than you expect.

Top tips for safe use of e-scooters

  • Always ride in a safe and considerate manner, including giving way to pedestrians and mobility devices
  • Ride at a safe speed that does not pose a hazard to yourself or others.
  • Be aware that cyclists, other road users and pedestrians may not hear you approaching.
  • In areas where you must use the road rather than the footpath (around the CBD for instance), keep as far to the left as you can for your own and others’ safety.
  • We strongly recommend that e-scooter riders wear helmets.