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In 2008 when our two hospital sites merged onto the new RDH site, hospital parking became a challenge. With car parking problems overshadowing the otherwise positive new hospital experience, a tremendous effort was put into developing innovative ways to encourage alternative transport use through the Trust’s Travel Plan.
The Trust’s planning obligations for the RDH and Manor Car Park required us to achieve a single occupancy vehicle (SOV) target of 48% by 2012.
Despite endless calls from staff to ‘build’ a multi-storey car park and simply address the problem by creating more car parking, the Trust set out to work in partnership with Derby City Council and local transport providers to influence and support sustainable behaviour change by encouraging staff to choose the healthy option and reduce their carbon footprint by using sustainable modes of transport.
The last 6 years the Trust has been successful reducing SOV. This has been sustained by keeping our Travel Plan active. Shown by an increase in staff walking, cycling, using public transport to work and lift sharing demonstrating the Trust’s Travel Plan is working effectively and our commitment to building a sustainable future in reducing congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and promoting health benefits.
The Trust Travel Plan has been running for 6 years incorporating cycle, public transport, and walk to work incentive weeks. In addition to these initiatives include;
- Strong links with Derby City Council, securing a £10,000 grant to update and refurbish staff changing facilities at the LRCH
- Presenting our Travel plan to our Environmental Champions to cascade to our wards and departments.
- Incentives for staff using alternative modes of transport include £100 voucher towards the cost of a bike, 12 free parking entries for staff who cycle, free cycle maintenance, cyclists breakfasts, pedometers, and much more!
- Increasing our Parking Partner car sharing spaces due to demand.
- Secure bike shelters and staff changing facilities at RDH and LRCH
- Discounted travel passes and monthly road shows promoting cheapest ways to travel on public transport
- Staff and patients have access to our travel kiosks which show real time information giving everybody access to travel information who comes to the hospital. We have a dedicated Travel Zone area which is located in the main entrance of the RDH, this is an area that provides staff, patient and visitors up to date travel information, maps and travel events.
- Electric Charging Points in our staff car park and visitors car parks at RDH and LRCH
- Our WiFi for patients and visitors hosts a dedicated transport tab on the home page and our staff intranet site hosts a wealth of information on travel and transport choices for staff.
Over the past 6 years we have sustained our campaign to influence behaviour change through staff travel incentive weeks which help promote all modes of sustainable transport options.
The positive impact we can therefore have on the local community and environment as well as individual’s lifestyle choice and wellbeing is tremendous. From the results of the 2010 Staff Travel survey, 59% of our staff travelled to work alone in their car. This has reduced to 49% of our staff travelling alone in their cars in 2015, thus giving a reduction of 10%. In addition a further 5% increase has been achieved in staff walking to work, which has exceeded our travel plan target. Public transport usage has increased by 3%.
We have integrated our travel initiatives into our overall all staff health and wellbeing programme called ‘Get Healthy Stay Healthy’. Staff have said by walking and cycling to work they are more energised and ready to start their day. Last year more than 500 staff participated in our awareness weeks.
The impact of this change has been demonstrated with achievement of the Carbon Trust Standard and long lasting partnerships within the local community.
Our plans for 2016
Over the next 12 months our staff travel survey will be sent out to all staff to complete so we can get an understanding of how our staff commute to work, we will be looking to increase the number of our car sharing spaces (Parking Partners). Increase secure cycle facilities at the London Road Community Hospital, continue with our travel incentive week and sustainability days, and keep staff, patients and visitors up to date with our work by publishing our 2016 Travel Summary.