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Nov 28, 2012
emilyharrup

New faces and the NQE Business Awards

First I would like to introduce Claudia and David who have recently joined the Colchester Travel Plan Club as interns and Gareth who has joined Essex County Council’s Sustainable Business Travel Plan team.

Sadly it is goodbye to Rachelle who is moving on to change management within ECC.  Claudia, David and Gareth look forward to working with you.

 

 

Back to the NQE awards and a huge thanks to all of our finalists, we hope you all had a good time on Friday. The quality of the projects described was fantastic and it was almost impossible to pick just two winners. After a huge amount of deliberation, congratulations go to Defence Support Group and The Gilberd who won the award.

To celebrate all our finalists’ achievements, below is a brief synopsis of each as well as a write up on the winners.

The Finalists

University of Essex – The partnership with Re-Cycle the charity that sends refurbished bikes to Africa is a fantastic way to re-cycle bikes abandoned by students and in a virtuous circle then sell refurbished bikes back to cash strapped students. The Uni’s efforts to get students on bikes includes a weekly free Dr Bike service, cycle training and heavily subsidised bike security tagging

6th Form College – In a joint peer to peer project with Sustrans, students have produced a range of innovative posters to encourage fellow students to get on a bike. These have been featured in Cyclelife and may get rolled out beyond the 6th form college. Alongside this project the college has introduced a new comprehensive, friendly and attractive travel section on their intranet.

Inntel – As a business operating from a remote location, we were very impressed with Inntel’s commitment to their travel plan, the range of incentives and facilities they have for their staff and their forward thinking green credit scheme, where achievements of credits for example for using green transport are exchanged for vouchers at the end of the year.

CoHoc – Using Bike Week as a means of fundraising while at the same time encouraging people to cycle, was a different approach for getting people back on a bike. CoHoC offered a great range of cycling initiatives including Dr Bike, guided rides, refresher session all contributing to a successful bike week at the hospital.

The Winners

Defence Support Group – Colchester – The level of commitment shown to promoting sustainable travel and particularly cycling was very impressive. Having voluntarily started a travel plan, with no dedicated resources or funding, staff have really embraced cycling as a means for unifying, improving health and building moral amongst staff.

Staff from HR, the shop floor, H&S and management all spoke passionately about how cycling was impacting positively on their organisation. 

Pool bikes are used by senior management as well as staff from the shop floor for business and personal trips and lunch time rides with colleagues. A group always take part in theLondontoBrightoncharity bike ride. Covered parking, showers, lockers and drying facilities provide support for cyclists.  As a result of their commitment, cycling to work has risen from 7% to an impressive 16% since 2010.

 The Gilberd – Cycling has been integrating throughout the school curriculum through the passion and hard work of key staff. Staff have been trained to deliver Bikeability training, mountain and track biking, allowing pupils the opportunity to develop specialist as well as general cycling skills. This means that every single child receives a solid experience on which to continue cycling as they get older. Following the Olympics, another cycling sport has been introduced, pursuit cycling. Their commitment to encouraging cycling stretches beyond the school. Staff work with primary schools in the local area offering cycle training and their cycling workshop, run by staff and students, offers a repair service to the school and wider community.

Jul 9, 2012
emilyharrup

DSG’s Bike Week ride

 Neil Allen from DSG describes their bike ride….

‘To mark this years “Bike Week” staff from DSG Colchester took part in a lunch time 10 mile ride to the village of Fingringhoe and back. Described as a “pleasant poodle”, any suggestion that the event would be taken seriously disappeared with the arrival of two colleagues on an ancient tandem. Accompanied by much laughter and synchronized bellringing, hills were conquered and byways explored. So successful was the ride that it is proposed to make it a regular event!’

Jun 26, 2012
emilyharrup

Pedal power at Chuft

Well in the end it was Caroline and I who did most of the pedalling but we gave out over 100 smoothies by the end of the day!!  It was a beautiful day and great to talk to so many people about cycling, CoHoC and anything else that came up!

Photo and article from the Gazette 21/06/2012

Jun 12, 2012
emilyharrup

Lunch time ride at DSG

 

I found this photo on file, of DSG staff launching their new pool bikes last year! 

To promote Bike Week,  DSG Colchester Bike/Travel Plan Champions Neil Allen, Jason Gooding and Stuart Packard have arranged a lunch time ride on Wednesday 20th June 2012.  Leaving the main gate at midday, they will ride out to a pub in Fingringhoe then back to work, grabbing a bag of chips on the way home.  The cycle ride is a gentle 10 mile round trip.

Pool Bikes are available or bring your own bike, those taking part will have the chance for some free cycle goodies from Cycle Colchester.

This event is subject to weather permitting!

Remember DSG Colchester has 6 pool bikes that are free for staff to use anytime. To book out a bike speak to the main gate staff.

Jun 11, 2012
emilyharrup

Bike chat at CBC!

 

CBC have organised two great events to launch a Summer of Cycling next week during Bike Week.

Tuesday 19 June – Dr Bike will be at Rowan House offering free bike health checks between 09:00 and 14:00. This event is open to staff and students at the 6th Form College and Colchester Institute, local Travel Plan Club members, as well as CBC staff.

Thursday 21 June – Tea, Cakes and Bike Chat.  CBC staff are invited to come and chat about cycling and grab a free tea and cake between 13:00 and 15:00 in Rowan House canteen! Information and advice will be available about cycling to work including facilities for cyclists, routes and the cycle to work scheme plus what is happening over the summer to enjoy cycling with your friends and family. The pool bikes will also be available for staff to  ‘Come and try it’ if they are thinking about using them for business travel or simply wanting to try out a bike.

Donation boxes for Colchester Hospitals Charity will be available at both events.

Thanks to rocketfuelstyle.wordpress.com for the photo of the delicious summer fruits bike cake!
May 24, 2012
emilyharrup

Get Cycling with CoHoC

Colchester Hospitals Charity is leading the way in local Bike Week celebrations this year with an exciting line up of events and freebies to help you back on your bike this summer. 

Anyone can join in just email for a free information pack to Fundraising@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

 

Monday 18 June

  • Free Breakfast at Colchester General Hospital and Essex County Hospital – When you send your cycling promise to Colchester Hospitals Charity you will receive a voucher for a free breakfast. All you have to do is present it in the hospital restaurant.
  •  Bike Doctor Clinics – part of the national biggest bike fix
    1. 8.00am – 11.00am at Colchester General Hospital – outside Training Room South
    2. 11.30 am – 12.130am at Essex County Hospital – rear car park

 Tuesday 19 June

The bicycle smoothie maker will be at Colchester General Hospital. Come and have a go at powering the smoothie maker and taste one of our delicious smoothies. Find us on the grass at the main entrance to the hospital from 9.00am – 4.30pm

 Wednesday 20 June

A choice of two bike rides with experienced ride leaders

  • 11.00am – 1.30pm starts and finishes at Leisure World (meet by the skate ramps)
  • 12.15 -12.45pm starts and finishes at Highwoods (meet at the Visitor Centre)

Thursday 21 June

Free cycling refresher sessions

  • 10.00am – 12.00 at Highwoods (meet at Visitor Centre)
  • 2.00pm – 4pm at Leisure World (meet by skate ramps)
    1.      Getting back on a bike (level 1)
    2.      Cycle skills for local journeys (level2)
    3.      Advanced road skills (level 3)

 Sunday 24 June

Family bike ride – 10.00 am from Leisureworld (meet by skate ramps) to Wivenhoe and back with experienced ride leaders. The ride is suitable for children (accompanied by a parent or guardian) who can cycle for approximately 2 hours.

A number of adult bikes are available free of charge if you don’t have one – just let CoHoC know if you would like a bike when returning your registration form.

Feb 25, 2012
Andrew Budd

Loveurcarcolchester

And now for something completely different. Our keen followers may have heard rumblings about an exciting new project, working on new themes in very different ways. And we can’t keep our secret any longer. Coming to you, and the whole of Colchester, next week, is the LOVEURCARCOLCHESTER project.

At Loveurcarcolchester we recognise that car use is very important in Colchester, and that for many local trips we need to use our cars.
So how do we make our town a better place by playing our part in reducing traffic congestion, as we all accept that it’s sometimes a problem?
Loveurcarcolchester is here to have fun, and support transport change.
We’re here to celebrate what’s good about local driving, and also to encourage smarter driving, looking at car sharing, fuel economy and much more……
And, maybe sometimes, we can try something else?

Thank you to government department Defra for supporting this project in Colchester. The project partners are the Colchester Borough Council Air Quality team, Colchester Travel Plan Club, and local mediamakers and style gurus V102.

So what can we expect? Get ready to meet Bald Baz, Perfect Purdy, Frankie Two-Toes and Bob Noxious, our video heroes. From next week, visit our website www.loveurcarcolchester.co.uk and maybe win an i-Pad2.

Jan 26, 2012
emilyharrup

Full set of spanners at CTPC workshop!

 

Not many schools can boast that cycling is an integral part of their curriculum. The Gilberd School teaches mountain biking and Bikeability within timetabled lessons, holds bike races as part of sports day, and has a weekly bike club. And the headliner is an impressive bike maintenance workshop which is run as a small business and where students can learn bike maintenance as part of a qualification.  With  bikes that don’t work, being one of the main reasons kids don’t cycle to school, The Gilberd’s bike maintenance workshop is about to go mobile and help out at other schools.  Thanks to Roger Springett for hosting January’s CTPC event, and for the tour afterwards which included the bike workshop and facilities plus the impressive shiny new trailer which will soon be transformed into a mobile workshop.

So back to club news:

CTPC Governance: With the winding-down of Colchester2020, Jeremy Lucas (ECC) and Paul Wilkinson (CBC) talked about future governance of the club and member involvement in determining the direction the club goes in and priorities.  Emily and Andrew have always responded and evolved to the needs of the TPC members and are happy to continue doing this. Paul will be organising a workshop for members to discuss governance issues/priorities etc. All agreed that any opportunity to bid for funding should be taken advantage of to help ongoing funding of the CTPC and new projects.

Summer Cycling Promotions: Get your costed ideas for promotions within your workplace into Andrew and Emily by the beginning of February. Funding may be available from ECC for training, events, Dr Bike etc and any new ideas you have. We all liked the Cycle Challenge as a cross CTPC promotion but the cost is an issue, could we develop our own online logging system? One for Andrew and Emily to explore…..

STEPS – Active Travel:  Legs Eleven walking project is still happening, and is expected to be launched in the spring. A decision on ERDF funding is imminent, which will put more funding into this and other NCBP projects.

2012 Events:  We are happy to support you in any events where you are promoting sustainable transport. One highlight in this year’s calender is the  ACTTravelwise’s spring conference  which is being hosted by Charlotte at UofE and has an exciting line up showcasing Transport in the 21st Century. There is a pre-conference event on the 29th March with the main conference on the 30th.  Use the link above to see the full programme and to book your place.

Drive Colchester: £5000 is available to CTPC members to promote car sharing and smarter driving in 2012! A second grant from DEFR has given us this great opportunity for some more bespoke promotions over and above the central project we are currently working on. So please let us have your ideas…. whether it be advanced driving lessons, an on site mechanic, car share matching events, Love Your Car promotions, bespoke publicity material, dedicated car share bays or something else…

The central campaign will run over a couple of months starting around mid February, with a short funky film on carsharing and another on smarter driving.  Radio (Heart, Dream, Uni, Garrison, Hospital?-  are there others we can approach??) and billboard campaigns will promote the films and Drive Colchester website, plus publicity in TPC member organisations… watch this space for more info…

Travel Plan Accreditation scheme: Many of our members have achieved a silver and want to go for gold. Survey response rates are the main barrier and Rachel gave us ideas for maximising response rates by offering attractive inventives, offering a paper version, timing the survey to coincide with a change in parking arrangements etc.

Survey time is here again:  We do a full survey across all members every two years, usually in May to measure our progress. Survey results have been good with a year on year 3% decrease in people driving to work and big increases in people mixing their modes.  The challenge this year is to get the high response rate to help our members hit gold, as well as get some robust stats to measure our progress  by.  So we will be talking to members over the next few months on how best to tackle this for their organisation and noted that if we can put the month long survey back or forward a week it will help out the Uni as May clashes with exam time.

Abellio and public transport: Good news that Abellio want to focus on customer service in their 2 year franchise, with their eye keenly set on achieving the franchise in the longer term. This means new dedicated customer service desks at key stations (including Colchester) interest in integrated transport, more user-friendly timetables, marketing of under capacity trains (apparently there are very few that are overcrowded) We have had positive sounds about continuing our discount and hopefully they will be keen to work on some joint marketing of train travel with us. (Conversation today with our current contact at NXEA, Tanya, indicates business as usual from 5th Feb when Abellio take over – she is 99% certain existing discounts will continue.

CTPC public transport promotional material is all set to go, but ticket stock is still awaited from Network Colchester. Tony Mears has gone (Emily met new Regional General Manager Martin Evans after our meeting, hopefully the ticket stock will be appearing very soon so we can get on with our promotions).

ACTTravelwise: The CTPC pays for membership of ACTTravelwise  , who represent and lobbies for sustainable travel and travel planning nationally. Full CTPC members have access via their own log in.  It is a good resource for case studies, events, jobs and includes a forum for posting questions.  Emily will sort out current log ins and passwords.  Another good free resource to sign up to is Ways2Work funded by DfT and focused more on the private sector, with lots of good case studies, advice and best practice.

Helena encouraged us all to sign up  for a Free Business in the Community & ACE conference masterclass promoting health in the workplace, 8th February 09:30 – 13:30, lunch included, at the Holiday Inn in Eight Ash Green.

Thanks, and if you want to know more please get in touch.

Dec 21, 2011
Andrew Budd

2011? Where did that go?

It’s an exciting time right now at the Travel Plan Club. We’ve just won funding from Defra for an air quality project in Colchester, which we hope will go massive from January to March 2012. Then there’s a bid for European Regional Development Fund to support our work on Active Travel, particularly with SMEs in North Colchester Business Parks, again we hope to announce this in the New Year.

But, best of all, our current members are continuing their support for the Club. Many of our local businesses and organisations have gone through major changes in 2011, and budget cuts, so it is particularly pleasing that members have chosen to carry on their good Travel Planning work in partnership with Colchester Travel Plan Club.

So we’re here again in 2012, but it won’t be business as usual. The Club exists only to serve its members, and what our members wanted in 2011, isn’t what our members will want in 2012. That’s cool; your co-ordinators like new challenges. And the two newly funded projects will stretch us. But what do our loyal members want from the Club in 2012? Please get in touch, or take part in our next Meeting on Wednesday morning, 25 January 2012, when we will plan next year’s work.

Looking back on the year 2011, for all of us at our workplaces, it’s sometimes possible for us to focus too much on what we haven’t done, and overlook our achievements.  Thanks to receiving a random e-mail about our past work, Emily found some notes about our Active Travel themed session last 20 April, held at the University of Essex, showing some of the work we have done with our members. (These notes haven’t appeared on this website before, as we went live from June.) Here’s a selection of the original notes, and our end-of-the-year update:

ACE Health Trainer Service. Sue Felgate gave us an overview to reinforce our knowledge about the growing obesity epidemic due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and over consumption of food. The car and office based working plays a big part in this and workplaces have an important role in encouraging and supporting people to be more active.ACE offer a wealth of resources from their resource centre including range of leaflets and personal walking plan booklets etc. Contact Sue for more information tel: 01206 288616/07717 130 473,  email sue.felgate@aceic.nhs.uk

Update:  The TPC have presented at subsequent training sessions for workplace champions during 2011

Cycle Tech Colchester. Ben Paton offers a mobile cycle maintenance service and can come to your work place and offer a range of on site services including Dr Bike safety checks, bike fleet management, private maintenance work, emergency response service, bike maintenance lessons for staff. Ring 07909 280 125,  visit www.cycletechuk.com/colchester.html   email ben.paton@sky.com

Update: Ben was in Culver St West every Friday through summer and autumn, offering a free Dr Bike 15 minute check. The TPC helped spread the word, and this offer was taken up by hundreds of Colchester people. 

Cycle to Work Scheme. Michelle Lay-Flurrie from Colchester Borough Council gave us a useful overview of the Cycle to Work scheme and its success at CBC (an HMRC initiative to help people buy a decent bike and accessories at a discounted price through salary sacrifice).

Update: The Travel Plan Club recommends Cyclescheme as a Cycle to Work scheme provider. The government’s rules on how to implement the scheme changed during the year, and Emily kept members informed on how best to deal with the latest conditions.

Pedometer challenges to promote walking. Charlotte Humphries from the University of Essex, told us about her successful pedometer challenge held last year, and her stepping-out plans for this year.

Update: Promoting walking is key to many of the TPC objectives. Look out for “Legs Eleven” in spring 2012!

Pool Bikes. Harvey Panrucker from Essex County Council talked about the growth of their pool bike scheme, and how they have rolled this out to other organisations as part of an overall Travel Plan package.

Update: Pool bikes from ECC are now available for staff at DSG, Colchester Institute and Colchester Borough Council, linked with ECC’s Business Travel Plan accreditation scheme.

 Walk Colchester and Jane’s Walk Weekend. Rowena Macaulay from Walk Colchester www.walkcolchester.org.uk talked about her community based project “to promote and facilitate safe and enjoyable pedestrianism”. Walk Colchester is holding the UK’s first Jane’s Walk weekend over 7th and 8th May, two days of local walks led by local people, taking place simultaneously around the world, celebrating the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs (1916-2006).

Update: This weekend was an outstanding success. Well done Walk Colchester. The TPC were glad to share details of your event with our members.

Living Streets Walking Calculator. The national charity promoting walking has a free online calculator that will be available for logging walking undertaken in Walk to Work week 9th – 13th May as part of a national walking challenge.

Update: The Living Streets’ online walking calculator didn’t work as well as we had hoped, and take up in Colchester was limited.

Bike Week 2011. Pam Nelson of many hats, here representing Colchester Cycling Campaign and Cycle Colchester, talked about the history of the celebration of Bike Week in Colchester. There are a number of community lead Bike Week events happening, more on this later.

Update: Cycle Colchester had another good year, with the project continuing even though the government had stopped funding it. Many thanks to the local authorities and voluntary sector for keeping the flag flying.

(Thanks to “One Simple Act” from Alberta, Canada for the “idle” sign.)

Dec 1, 2011
emilyharrup

Business Awards – Our Winners!

Glamour, glitter and fireworks were all part of the excitement of the NQE Business Awards Ceremony on Friday 25th November. After a champagne reception, meal and speeches the award presentations got underway.

Rachelle Ruston from ECC, Simon New from Inntel and Emily Harrup from the Travel Plan Club went on stage to present our three winners, who were…..

Defence Support Group, Colchester Borough Council and Colchester Football Stadium.

 

Congratulations in winning the award and look out for our write up on what most impressed the judges about our winners, in the Essex County Standard on Friday 2nd December.

Well done also to all of our finalists. We know you will be disappointed that you didn’t win.  However we would like you to know that your good work made our job of choosing three winners very difficult, and making it to the final nine is also a great achievement.

The Colchester Business Awards are a great way to raise the profile of sustainable travel within the business community as well as reward organisations that are already doing good work. We hope our involvement with the awards will lead to us welcoming new members on board in the coming months.

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What’s coming up?

5 - 19 May Colchester Walking Challenge

10 - 25 June Colchester Cycle Challenge

(10 - 17 June National Bike Week)

14 June CTPC members meeting

15 June National Clean Air Day

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