Planning and engineering consultancy WSP is celebrating the success of the Cycling and Walking to Work Fund (CWWF) Programme that has seen thousands of employees from more than 90 companies benefit across Liverpool.
Running since April 2017, the wider CWWF pilot programme aimed to connect people with employment and apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region (LCR) with Department for Transport funding secured by the LCR Combined Authority Transport Partnership and administered by Merseytravel.
The programme also aimed to encourage and enable more employees to take up walking and cycling to work as an option.
WSP Project Lead Helen Cumiskey explained: “This was a very exciting and ambitious pilot scheme to be involved in from the beginning. Over the months many strands of CWWF activities have supported the region’s economic growth through improving access to job opportunities, embedding sustainable transport as a responsible business strategy in several partner companies, as well as offering practical help such as free Citybike membership for jobseekers”.
“The Scheme has also helped deliver jobs in the region’s transport sector and established Local Authority Walking and Cycling Training hubs to encourage a lasting legacy from the programme.”
As part of their 16-month involvement in the project, WSP embedded a team of Business Support Officers working with 45 companies to help employers and their employees adopt a new way of thinking about their commute journeys.
Helen added: “ Our BSOs successfully engaged and introduced a range of initiatives to encourage walking and cycling on the commute to work. We started with a series of staff travel surveys to understand travel behaviour and attitudes and then were able to identify and introduce the most appropriate site-specific measures for them.”
These took into account a range of factors such as business location, availability of local cycle routes, availability of infrastructure/initiatives to support walking/cycling at the workplace, local public transport provision and car park provision at a site.
The team also provided transport, health and well-being events, and developed ‘How to Get to’ Guides promoting sustainable travel with tailored walking and cycling postcode maps.
The six-figure DfT funding enabled WSP to issue revenue grants of worth £30,000 to 21 businesses to assist their own walking and cycling initiatives. Employees from a further 46 businesses also took part in a Sustainable Travel Summer Challenge developed by WSP to boost employee engagement across the LCR.
Taking the benefits forward into 2019 and beyond, 45 businesses have received an action plan for encouraging sustainable travel in the future.
CWWF success looks like:
- 45 businesses heavily involved, with additional employees from 46 other businesses joining specific challenges
- 24 transport/health & well-being employer events
– 21 revenue grants administered
- More than 2000 employees were involved across the LCR through surveys, events, challenges and Personalised Journey Plans
- Nearly 600 staff involved in the Summer Walk/Cycle to Work Challenge
Councillor Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “One of our priorities as a Combined Authority is to make it easier for people to incorporate cycling and walking into their everyday lives, such as getting to school or college or commuting to work, which is why we were happy to support this initiative.
“Projects that encourage cycling and walking complement our investment in infrastructure through schemes such as our proposed 600km network of cycling and walking routes, for which we have already provided £8.3m to pay for its first 55km.
From the business sector, Millicent Jones, Executive Director, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall which took part in CWWF added: “Assistance from CWWF benefited Liverpool Philharmonic in several ways. It was the catalyst behind us setting up our first ‘Cycle to Work’ scheme and helped us to renew our efforts around communication to our audiences, in terms of what they can do to travel to the Hall in a more sustainable way. We hope to continue to improve in this area by organising more staff incentives to car share and walk to work.”
Ann Fillis, Company Secretary, Corporate Culture said of CWWF: “It has encouraged employees to look at their fitness levels and make a conscious effort to do something daily to improve them, using the equipment purchased through the grant.”
Joshua McMahon, CSR Coordinator, Liverpool One added: “The project has connected us into wider campaigns like Arrive Happy. It’s started a conversation which has led us to look at a cycle scheme and a number of other sustainable travel schemes.”