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What Sustainable Travel Really Means

For many of us, our days start with us dashing out the door, a coffee in our favourite travel mug and hoping that the traffic isn’t too bad. In the mad rush to make it to work on time, we don’t always consider the ins and outs of our daily commute. We want to take some time out to highlight all the options available to you at MediaCity and show how, by incorporating sustainable travel into your business and encouraging your employees to make the switch, this not only has a positive impact on the planet but improves employee wellbeing too.

In 2022, the UK alone recorded 740 billion passenger kilometres travelled, 216 million tonnes of freight moved, and 195.6 million international air passengers. That’s a lot of big numbers and a whole lot of emissions.

To support the shift towards sustainable travel, and to support wider Net Zero commitments, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) continues to invest in the development of the Bee Network. This initiative aims to connect multiple modes of transport, making it easier to get around Manchester. You can take advantage of the extensive travel guidance through TfGM’s interactive portal, and help your business and/or colleagues get on board.

Employees are more likely to make use of sustainable travel if it’s convenient and easily accessible to them. That’s why we have partnered with TfGM for this campaign, to highlight the benefits of sustainable travel not only for the environment but also for promoting health and wellbeing and workforce productivity.

We spoke to Richard Nickson, Director of Active Travel at Transport for Greater Manchester who gave us his insights on sustainable and active travel at MediaCity in relation to business activities. Read below to hear his thoughts!

The Importance of Sustainable Travel:

Richard Nickson, Network Director of Active Travel, TfGM. 

As the Network Director of Active Travel at TfGM, I work with Dame Sarah Storey, Greater Manchester’s Active Travel Commissioner, to ensure we’re doing all we can to enable more people to walk, cycle and wheel for their journeys. I’m delighted to see such a commitment to active travel among the hundreds of vibrant MediaCity businesses. With the launch of this active travel campaign and the reintroduction of several of the Starling Bank Bike Hire stations at MediaCity, there’s a palpable sense of excitement in the air. This campaign isn’t just about cycling, walking and wheeling; it’s about fostering a culture of health, sustainability, and productivity.

Promoting Health and Wellbeing

Our bodies are designed to move, and yet, modern lifestyles have taken a toll on our health. Incorporating active travel into our daily routines not only helps us stay physically fit but also boosts mental wellbeing by reducing stress levels and enhancing mood. Even in the Greater Manchester drizzle, kicking the day off by walking or cycling to work can help you be healthier and happier.

Enhancing Workforce Productivity

Good productivity is the lifeblood of any thriving business, and active travel can have a direct impact on the workforce. By opting for sustainable modes of transport, employees can avoid the frustration of traffic congestion and unpredictable delays. Moreover, the physical activity involved in cycling or walking stimulates cognitive function, sharpening focus and creativity. Employees who engage in active commuting arrive at work more energized and focused, ready to tackle the day’s challenges head-on. Add to that, about one third of productivity loss in the UK is attributable to sickness and it’s possible to see how, as well as fostering a healthier lifestyle, active travel can also help improve productivity.

Preserving Our Environment

It’s important that we emphasise environmentally sustainable transport. Active travel represents a significant step towards reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change. We know, for example, that about one third of all emissions in Greater Manchester come from vehicle traffic. By choosing cycling, walking or wheeling over driving, we can collectively reduce air pollution and congestion, making MediaCity a cleaner, greener place to work for generations to come.

Welcome Back, Starling Bank Bike Hire!

The return of several of the Starling Bank Bike Hire (you might have known them as the ‘Bee Bikes’) stations to MediaCity is cause for celebration. This convenient and affordable bike hire scheme empowers residents, workers and visitors alike to embrace active travel with ease. Whether you’re commuting to work, running errands, or simply exploring MediaCity, these bikes provide a sustainable and enjoyable means of getting around.

What are you waiting for? Saddle up, put your best foot forward, and propel yourselves towards a more sustainable commute - one pedal or stride at a time.

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