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GREEN BUSINESS


Why your business should be taking steps to adopt sustainable travel


By Matthew Easter (pictured), Regional Director for the Midlands and East for the charity Sustrans


It is currently impossible to avoid – and why would you want to - the growing call for us to take both personal and organisational action to help reduce our individual or collective carbon footprints. It may seem at times, however, difficult to identify the actions we can take within the myriad of all possible options. Choosing to travel more sustainably to and from work and on work business are actions that stand out as low cost choices to make. There are also many high profile companies now adding


their voices to calls for national and local Government to do more to reduce car use with the potential to make our cities and towns better for residents, for business, for the economy and for visitors. Reducing car use in cities and towns is now largely a matter of when, not if.


WHAT’S THE ISSUE HERE? Last year, public and political concern regarding the urgent need to reduce greenhouse emissions became paramount. The climate crisis rose to the top of the political agenda and 265 public authorities declared a climate emergency. Air pollution, dangerous roads, physical inactivity and congestion are all high


priority issues facing cities and towns. The climate crisis adds urgency to reducing private motor vehicle use and encouraging cycling and walking and other forms of sustainable travel. Climate change means reducing car use, which traditionally wasn’t an option to


transport planners and is now being openly discussed and considered by decision- makers, city and council leaders. Nottingham has forged a path with its workplace parking levy, likely to be copied by other cities across the UK and Leicester which has shown through its Connecting Leicester programme that prioritising investment in cycling and walking infrastructure and public spaces has increased levels of cycling and also benefited the economic vitality of the city centre.


business network April 2020 61


FEATURE


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