Jul 28, 2011
Andrew Budd

Tanks for hosting, Stuart! Club Meeting 20 July

 

Who wants a picture of some people sitting in a Travel Plan Club meeting? No one! That’s why, instead, we have a picture of a transport themed pink elephant sculpture in Copenhagen.

Many thanks to everyone who came along to our Club meeting, and especially to Stuart of DSG for hosting the Club on 20 July. Club business over, Stuart gave us a fascinating tour of his workplace. Travel Plan Club members were particularly impressed with the electric drying cabinet for soggy clothes, the first time Colchester Club members had seen such a machine! And it was good to hear the DSG Pool Bikes are popular. In contrast, it was very sobering to see wrecked army vehicles that had returned from Afghanistan, before refurb or scrapping at the DSG workshops.

And now (drum roll) – Club Business Meeting – the newsy notes: Communications – Visits to our new website were invited, now we’ve launched, and, as you’re here now, WELCOME! We now have full control over making changes, so we can be more newsy and less static. All comments and suggestions for improvements welcomed. We always want to hear your travel stories, so if you have something to share, get in touch. We would like this website to be a place where both members and employees visit and use as a resource, so please promote it at every opportunity.

Club Members say they want to keep up to date via Facebook, so please join our FB group “colchester2020 travel plan club”. You can follow our RSS feed, or join us on Twitter (we are “travelplanclub”). WE PROMISE NOT TO OVERLOAD YOU WITH POSTINGS.

ACTTravelwise (the UK’s premier network for all organisations working to promote sustainable travel) are having their prestigious annual conference at the Uni of Essex – Charlotte was not here to update us, but she will let us know if there’s any help and support needed to ensure the conference is a success. At the Meeting, we discussed whether the Travel Plan Club should put a paper forward, regarding our work and how it has developed over the years, and there were mixed views. On balance we decided not to present, as the Club has very recently moved to running on a new model, more appropriate to the current financial climate and the progress we’ve already made with our Travel Plans, and September will be too soon to report on our (much hoped for) success!

Car Sharing and Smarter Driving Autumn Promotion. A bid has been put forward to DEFR, by the TPC with the Colchester Borough Council air quality team. The outcome will be known in September, and we have a Plan B up our sleeves if we don’t get everything we asked for! The broad plan is that :

· People will be encouraged to save money and reduce their fuel consumption through a Smarter Driving promotion, in work places to make it easy to participate. Borrowing from Charlotte’s  ‘Love your car’ campaign, checks would be offered, of tyre pressure, filters, how much excess weight is being carried etc, along with advice on reducing fuel consumption through driving techniques, buying a new car and considering alternatives to driving, particularly for short journeys. If the bid is successful, free Smarter Driving Lessons can be offered, and an appropriate freebie for participants, such as a “boot tidy”.

· We would like to carry out a more targeted car sharing campaign, perhaps aimed at younger people who may not have the complicated family circumstances which make car sharing difficult. Feedback is being gained through the snap survey to help determine the best age group to target, and the barriers to car sharing. If the funding comes through, thoughts are to get people talking through a short and fun film clip, (put together by Nigel Campling and his local company V102?), promoting car sharing through a recognisably local story line, that could lead to more… think BT ads! The film could be uploaded to You Tube, and the audio used in a radio campaign.

Cycling Update

Thanks to Natalie Blyde who joined us to talk through what Healthy Living Solutions can offer. Basically as long as some free cycle training is included, Dr Bike, maintenance classes and anything else can be added in! The funding won’t be available for ever, and it would be good to make the most of the good weather over the summer. Sessions can be arranged at any time to suit workplaces and individuals. Family sessions can also be arranged. Healthy Living Solutions will make it as easy as possible for you, all you need to do is agree a time and date, and help promote it to staff.

Public Transport Autumn Promotion

· Network Colchester discounts are in the pipeline ranging from 22 – 31% on a range of ticket types. As NC don’t have a call centre or ticket office, larger TPC businesses would have to sell them direct and NC would invoice them for those purchased, with no up front money required. Smaller businesses could purchase them through Andrew and Emily.

· A new offer on First carnet tickets is awaited as stocks are running low. Previously the Travel Plan Club bulk brought at a 35% discount and sold on to Travel Plan Club members. Once an offer is on the table, we will look at whether it can be set up differently this time around.

· We will get the commuter bus map updated to reflect the new routes and produce a promotional flyer including the map and all Travel Plan Club discounts, also posters for members to put up at work places.

· Once the winner of the Greater Anglia rail franchise is known, we will approach them to discuss our 10% discount currently offered by NXEA. A copy of our response to the franchise consultation last year has been forwarded to all three of the Department for Transport’s preferred bidders.

Any Other Business

We had some discussion around the future of the Travel Plan Club, and how we may need to consider formalising our status so that we have our own bank account, governing body, constitution etc to enable us to bid for funding in our own right. Andrew and Emily will be looking into the options.

And there it was, all over, business efficiently done in just over an hour; and time for a DSG tour. Make sure you’re at the next TPC Event on 26 October, and the next TPC Meeting on 25 January 2012.

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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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