Stage 2: Influencing Travel to the Development: Awareness raising and marketing
Awareness raising and marketing can support the Travel Plan and other measures to change travel patterns, including infrastructure alterations, such as the promotion of cycle parking routes. People need to understand why such measures are being used, and what the travel choices to the site are 17.
Examples of awareness raising, marketing and information activities include:
- campaigns encouraging walking and cycling, perhaps for health reasons;
- campaigns on events such as cycle to work days;
- campaigns discouraging car use;
- public transport information regularly delivered to households and employers;
- direct marketing of public transport including personalised advice on how to use public transport for journeys with free travel for a set period; and
- the use of techniques such as Travel Blending (using travel diaries to help prompt changes in travel behaviour) to raise awareness of the impacts of travel decisions, and how they can be changed.
Information on possible measures is available on the Travelwise Northern Ireland web-site
Behavioural change initiatives
Other initiatives designed to encourage behavioural change include:
- Car sharing schemes, in which car sharers have priority parking spaces are an increasingly common and cost effective measure. If this is done there is a need for a database, and someone to run it. Some companies now offer software to simplify this.
- Car park permit schemes can be used to ensure that only those who need a parking space will get one. Application forms can include questions on aspects of working (other than home location) which are of importance, such as late working, or regular need for a car during work hours.
- Bicycle User's Groups can be set up in workplaces or residential areas to ensure measures are put in place to make cycling more convenient, and to encourage others to cycle.
- Schools can set up 'walking bus' schemes which have escorted walking groups from various pick up points in an area.
Changing working practices
One effective method of reducing the need to travel requires changing working practices. Tele-working (for example working at home once or twice a week), tele-conferencing and flexi-time working can all help to reduce the need to travel to a site, particularly during congested periods. New occupants of a development often have a good opportunity to introduce different working methods when they move into new premises. Another approach is to introduce a "compressed" working week whereby employees work longer hours but fewer days.
Companies might also provide facilities to enable staff to shop via the Internet thus avoiding the need for extra journeys from the site. While this may help to reduce local congestion it is not yet known whether this will cause a net reduction in total vehicular travel
17 A Travel Plan Resource Pack for Employers (DRD Roads Service 2003) and Two wheels work: A good practice guide for developing and implementing Wheels to Work schemes (Countryside Agency, 2002)