OVER TWO-HUNDRED HSBC staff are ditching the car and trying their commute by public transport to mark the start of Catch the Bus Week 2019.
Employees have been provided with free travel passes to encourage travel via bus, tram or train. The 28-day trial period will support the bank’s phased move to new offices in Sheffield City Centre, with limited parking facilities.
“As a change champion for our move to the new premises, I encouraged colleagues to try new forms of transport to get to work. There will no longer be any assigned car parking at the new place of work and it is a great opportunity to explore alternatives”, said HSBC analyst developer Michael Bullock.
“I have decided to take the lead and try alternatives to driving in the city centre. I will be using trains, park and ride and other combinations of travelling from Barnsley to show that it can be done without too much disruption”, he said.
HSBC is being supported by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) Active and Sustainable Travel team, who delivered a series of travel clinics for employees that currently commute by car.
“At the clinics, we talk about the different options open to them to travel to their new place of work, including public transport, park and ride sites and cycling and walking routes. We believe that many employees should be able to get there without using a car, so we encourage them to try out their options”, says Richard Pilgrim, from SYPTE’s Active and Sustainable Travel team.
“Commuting via public transport is a great way of introducing some physical activity on your everyday life. Just walking to and from bus or tram stops helps you build up the NHS recommended 30 minutes of moderate activity every day, improving your health and wellbeing.”
SYPTE has provided the 214 HSBC employees taking part in the trial with a smartcard ticket, offering free access to public transport services across South Yorkshire. The scheme is funded by the Department for Transport’s Sustainable Travel Access Fund (STAF) and is available to other companies going through relocation.
“We look to people who are currently using the car to get to work, either as a driver or as a car sharer, to reconsider their travel habits. Changing your job or relocating to new premises can provide a perfect opportunity to think about the way you get to and from your workplace”, added Richard.
“What we’ve seen in other companies is that many of the participants carry on using public transport, walking or cycling to work after the trial period, as they realise that it is easier than they thought and often cheaper, healthier and less stressful than driving. On top of that, they contribute to helping to improve the Region’s air quality and reducing traffic congestion by taking more cars off the roads”, he says.
Catch the Bus Week is a nationwide campaign created to encourage more people to switch to sustainable travel for at least part of their commute and runs from Monday 1 July to Sunday 7 July 2019.