Why commuters should choose greener transport
Congestion cost the UK economy £8bn in 2018, yet car use is the highest it’s been and commuters spend up to three days a year each stuck in rush-hour traffic.
Car use is at an all-time high in Britain say ETA, the organisers of Green Transport Week; and, as the roads get busier, really green transport – by foot and bike – gets more and more difficult. The car is being used for increasingly shorter journeys: as a proportion of all car journeys, 24% are under two miles and 58% are under five miles. As a proportion of distance travelled, the car accounts for 81% of our journeys, walking for only 3% and cycling for a measly 0.5%.
But people have to get to work, and although how they do that isn’t always a top consideration when looking for a job,it’s something many of us have to do five days a week and it can have a big impact on our work, health and wellbeing, as well as the environment.The car can seem the most convenient and obvious choice for many.
It’s easy to think that driving is less stressful than commuting by public transport because as a driver you’re in control and can avoid the inevitable train or tube delays, or buses not turning up. However, a recent survey showed that stressed-out commuters are spending 40 extra minutes a day at work in an effort to avoid the worst rush hour jams. The NHS is clear that non-active commutes to work aren’t good for health and research shows that a stressful commute can impact on work itself.
Walking or cycling some or all of the journey to work can make a big difference, and there are a range of ways employers can make workplaces cycle-friendly.
But choosing to switch from the car isn’t a straightforward decision; it’s influenced by a whole host of factors, including distance, the quality of the built environment, accessibility of public transport, safety, lifestyle, cost, other factors such as the need to drop kids off at school on the way – and, of course, habit: as human beings we often tend to do what we’ve always done, so driving to work can be come a default position
Behaviour change programmes can be a valuable way to challenge the status quo and encourage employees to consider other ways of commuting, for the benefit of themselves, their environment, and their work.
BetterPoints is a world-leading scalable and customisable behaviour change platform. Our award-winning technology motivates, incentivises and encourages in three key areas: Sustainability, the Environment and Health & Wellbeing. Find out how we can help your organisation.