Travel Torbay, on behalf of Torbay Council, is giving local businesses the opportunity to obtain the help and support of a dedicated Workplace Travel Planner, to help them improve their green travel credentials.

Torbay Council was successful in gaining funds, from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, to deliver a host of measures in Torbay with the aim to increase the uptake of public transport and active travel such as walking and cycling.

Businesses can apply for grants of up to £1000 which can be spent on any initiative which supports the aims of achieving sustainable transport usage, by employees and visitors. For example, the purchase and installation of cycle racks, lockers, shower and changing facilities.

The deadline for businesses to apply for a grant is Friday 20 November, 2015. The number of grants offered may become limited depending on demand and so businesses are being encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The council will also prioritise those businesses that are willing to match fund or part fund invest in green travel initiatives.

In addition to receiving a grant, businesses will obtain support, from Travel Torbay’s Workplace Travel Advisor, to create or update a Voluntary Workplace Travel Plan, tailored to the specific circumstances of the business. The Travel Planner will work with them to increase the uptake of staff who car share, use public transport, cycle and walk to work.

Councillor Mark King, Lead for Planning, Transport and Housing, said: “I encourage all businesses, whether small or large, to take advantage of this fantastic offer. Commuting to work in smarter ways is hugely beneficial to both employers and employees.

The benefits achieved through producing a Voluntary Travel Plan can include financial savings, reduced environmental impact and healthier lifestyles.”

Graham Catley, General Manager of Gooch and Housego, said: “As our business has grown, availability of parking spaces has become a significant issue for us. The footprint of the site is limited, and therefore options to extend our parking have been exhausted and so we are left to investigate other solutions.

“We have introduced secure facility for bikes, showers and changing areas and now have approximately 35% of our work force, cycling or walking to work regularly. However, for others coming by car, there is a daily struggle to park in the local vicinity. We are therefore very keen to work with the Torbay Council’s Travel Team, to put together travel options for staff.

“The Travel Team have started by analysing people’s journeys to and from the site and we are embarking on a Voluntary Travel Plan to create other modes of travel, rather than single occupancy vehicle use. We cannot create a new car park, but hopefully by working with the Council Team, we will be better informed of the options available to us and we will be able provide solutions to our issues.”

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