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Exeter’s business community recognise the need for an increase in sustainable travel options

Exeter’s business community recognise the need for an increase in sustainable travel options

Over 70% of respondents strongly agreed that: ‘In order to help our region reach its Net Zero carbon targets, it’s important to try and travel more sustainably.’ 

Exeter Chamber of Commerce has released encouraging results following its Future of Transport survey amongst the Exeter business community. 

More than 300 responses were received, and results show an opportunity for businesses to make a real difference regarding sustainable travel options. Over 70% of respondents agree that to help our region reach its Net Zero carbon targets, it’s important to try and travel more sustainably.

Pandemic restrictions have forced employees from a majority of businesses surveyed to work from home, meaning the need for the daily commute is no longer required. 50% of employees surveyed confirmed they are still working from home and 28% are working a blended mix of office and home working. 

As businesses look ahead to the future there is an opportunity to create change in travel habits, however, two thirds of employers surveyed say that they currently have no plans to introduce any sustainable transport policies.  

Exeter Chamber is using the results to help sign post employers and employees to a range of sustainable travel options available in the city. From using Co Bikes electric bikes for that first and last mile journey, utilising Stagecoach’s flexible day ticket options for bus travel to information about electric vehicle Salary Sacrifice schemes. 

Helen Scholes, Chamber board director, says: “We are encouraged to see the results from our Future of Transport survey, there is a real opportunity to help businesses with their sustainable travel options. We’re fortunate to already have many different flexible, low cost, zero carbon options available for travel to and across Exeter.  

“When it comes to a return to the workplace, the survey results also highlight there’s some mismatch between employees and employers’ expectations. Employees would like to maintain a blended approach to home and workplace working. They are also very receptive to travelling more sustainably. Meanwhile, employers show some preference for a full return to the office whilst not necessarily ready to put policies in place to encourage sustainable travel.  Therefore, we’re keen to understand how we can help support employers change the way their staff travel to put us firmly on the road to Net Zero by 2030.” 

The Exeter Transport Strategy 2020-2030 from Devon County Council focuses on improving travel choices, creating better places for people, and taking advantage of technology opportunities to influence travel behaviour in a positive way. Work is currently underway at Marsh Barton railway station and the railway to Okehampton has recently been reopened. Temporary cycle routes implemented at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic are now being made permanent and a number of public electric charging points are currently being rolled out across the city. 

The full results of the Future of Transport Survey together with sustainable travel options and policies can be found at https://exeterchamber.co.uk/initiatives/future-of/transport/#.

For businesses looking to adopt a sustainable travel policy, please contact Helen Scholes info@exeterchamber.co.uk 

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