Businesses across the West of England have until the 16th June 2017 to apply for the TravelWest grant which will go towards the cost of incentivising their staff to take up more sustainable forms of transport.
Bristol and Bath regularly come out on top when it comes to surveys of the worst places to drive. It's estimated that drivers spend up to 17 working days sitting in Bristol traffic every year costing businesses £43.7 million a year, and with it comes a bad reputation that is damaging our tourism industry, inward investment aims and in attracting talent to the area.
The Chamber of Commerce and West of England Initiative have argued for the need for long term strategic investment into the West of England infrastructure over the last 30 years to ease current congestion and plan for future growth. It is positive that steps are now being made to address this issue with the start of the Metro Bus service expected towards the end of 2017; the 4 local authorities working together to produce a Strategic Transport Plan looking ahead to 2040 and the Mayor for the West of England Combined Authority elected in May will have devolved powers and budget to deliver on infrastructure projects.
But businesses can help their employees make cleaner, easier journeys to work right now!
Using the Travelwest grants, businesses can access match-funding of up to 50% for any project that improves sustainable transport provision at your organisation – for example:
- new or improved cycle parking or storage facilities
- new electric vehicle charging points
- signage of cycling routes
- provision of pool bikes
- improvement of pedestrian access to and within the site
- provision of car sharing bays in staff car parks
- events to promote walking and cycling
- any other project that demonstrates it will have an effect on staff using single-occupancy cars
Other incentives are available; businesses that are keen to take up Electric Vehicles can access vehicle trials and funding towards charging points through the Go Ultra Low West. Read how Nameless Media and Bristol Airport are adding electric cars to their business fleet.
Another solution is the First Bus Corporate scheme, which enables employees to access discounted bus tickets on journeys throughout the West of England.
It's refreshing that many businesses are tackling the congestion problem through innovation. Slide has embraced technology to create a shared taxi scheme, Bristol Ferry has begun a commuter service, Velopost offer a local postal service and of course Uber and the likes of Deliveroo are now commonplace on our roads.
How to apply
The Travel West grant round will remain open until the 16th of June – you’ll need to apply by or before this date. To apply, please email Kurt Scheibl to request an application pack. After the close of applications, grants are competitively scored. You’ll be informed of whether your application has been successful by Friday the 30th of June.