Incentives for staff and students to travel sustainably are being put on the table to back the university’s newly-approved Active and Sustainable Travel Plan.
Proposals include making mileage payments for cycling at work, offering discount deals on public transport and the development of a ‘garage’ to help staff and students maintain their cycles.
An accompanying action plan also tables an idea to create a cycling link between the City and Mount Pleasant campuses.
“Our aim is to reach the point where walking and cycling are the natural choices for most journeys to and between campus buildings,” the plan states.
Allowing cycling staff to claim a tax-free mileage allowance for university business (currently 26p/mile) is seen as a significant move away from car-centred perks. These are backed by plans to extend changing and showering facilities on all campuses.
For other commutes, a proposal seeks to jointly negotiate with the University of Liverpool for higher education workers to obtain flexible discounts on bus, trains and ferries with Merseytravel to support hybrid working.
The new Active and Sustainable Travel Plan, approved by the Executive Leadership Team this week and sponsored by Professor Joe Yates, Pro Vice-Chancellor for APSS, aligns with the declaration of a climate emergency by the university in February 2020, which requires a renewed focus on providing low carbon and carbon neutral travel options.
However, climate change mitigation is just one motive. The plan also seeks to give more equal opportunities by levelling the playing field for travel options, improve the physical campus environment, demonstrate our social responsibility to health and wellbeing and also prove our influence within Liverpool by leading on a key regional issue.
The authors add: “The publication, and launch, of the bike first report in 2020 and the LCR walking and cycling strategy, are significant milestones. These developments offer a real opportunity for LJMU to change the way we travel and to advocate and influence a healthier and more sustainable travel infrastructure.
“This will have significant benefits for the university – offering better connected and more attractive, city campuses and a more compelling student life offer.”
A project lead for active travel will be nominated shortly, but if you want more details on the plan, please contact Wendy Bowe firstname.lastname@example.org