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UK Department of Transport promotes the 'no travel' option

Consultation on new strategy to embrace flexibility

UK Transport Minister Norman Baker is takes a positive approach to flexible working. And he thinks it should form a key plank in the coalition government's transport policy and policies for low carbon economic growth.

So the Department for Transport (DfT) has launched a Call for Evidence as part of an extensive investigation into the part that new ways of working can play in it's sustainable transport strategy.

The Call for Evidence is looking to gain insights into measures that reduce both business and commuting travel altogether, or reduce it during peak travel times.  So the travel alternatives they are seeking to investigate are summarised as:

  • Home working and remote working

  • Flexible working and staggered hours (in order to reduce travel during the peaks)

  • Use of conferencing technologies

  • Any other alternatives to travel that can reduce work-related travel.

The DfT is looking for responses from across sectors - business, not-for-profit, academia and individuals.  They are looking to find evidence of the impacts, and what if anything is holding up progress.

And they are looking for people's opinions about what the role of government should be in encouraging uptake of alternatives to travel.

At a meeting launching the Call for Evidence, Mr Baker also mentioned that he would have a role in promoting alternatives to travel across government.

The Minister for not travelling

This new approach was first flagged up last year in outlining the government's approach to sustainable travel.  According to Mr Baker:

"This is a new part of the transport Department so I am the first Minister to encourage people not to travel. It is counter intuitive perhaps, but nevertheless it has its value.

"Why? Because although there is a role for making sure our transport systems are green, and we have to do that, there is also a role in economic and environmental terms from looking at whether we have to go from A to B at all.

"If we are going to encourage home working even if 1 in 10 days are spent at home, think of the difference they would make in terms of congestion on the roads for those who are left on the roads.

"If we can get people video conferencing for when they are talking to businesses in America, or wherever it happens, think of the carbon that can be saved and the time that can be saved for business by not having to fly from Heathrow across the pond. So there are economic and environmental benefits to be pursued."

Transport Ministers using 'Boris bikes' - now they are peddling remote working too

May 2011

Further information

The Call for Evidence on Alternatives to Travel runs until 31st May 2011.

Details of the Call can be found on the DfT website at:





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