Heading back to the workplace? Top tips for a sustainable commute

To celebrate Clean Air Day, we caught up with five Travel Plan Network members who commute via bus, train, bike, running and walking to learn about the benefits to their health and wellbeing.

15 June 2021.

With Covid-19 restrictions easing, you may have returned to work or considering going back on a full or part-time basis. As we head back out on the roads, we caught up with five Travel Plan Network members who commute via bus, train, bike, running and walking to learn about the benefits to their health and wellbeing and get some tips for those considering new ways to travel to work. 

Bike

Brant Richards, Managing Director at HebTroCo

  • Travels from Hebden Bridge to Mytholmroyd

“I’ve always favoured walking or cycling to work. We worked right through the pandemic and increasingly found ourselves walking to work across the hill and using the cargo bikes to get items to and from the post office in town. When things started opening again, the roadworks in Mytholmyroyd led to massive congestion, but there were no problems on the cycleways with the cargo bike.”

Top tip: Carry a good coat, plan your routes and take your time. Rushing just leads to frustration.  

Running

Emma Young, Transport Planner at Bradford Council

  • Travels from Leeds to Bradford

I used to run to or from work a couple of times a week when I was training for some longer distance runs - some weeks this was the only time I could fit my training in as I have two young boys and my husband worked shifts. When running, I get to work feeling invigorated and ready to tackle the day.”

Top tip: You do not have to run in both directions in one day. You can also run along your bus route, so if you are having a bad day or cannot run the full distance, you can catch a bus for the last bit of the journey.

Train

Chris Taylor, Sustainable Travel Advisor at Mosodi

  • Travels from Bolton to Leeds

“I catch the train most days, usually with one day on my motorbike or working from home to break up the routine. I have been working from home for the last 12 months but have just recently started coming back to the office.  I can work, rest and play on the train depending on how I feel and what deadlines I have - it’s fantastic. I often work on my laptop or have a sleep if I’m feeling tired. I listen to podcasts but also watch the odd film or read a book.”

Top tip: Get an annual pass if you’re going to travel by train regularly. It’s generally cheaper, plus if you lose an annual ticket, you can get it replaced.

Walking

Alex Renton, Personal Assistant at Arup

  • Travels through Leeds

I have always walked to work. It clears my head. I prefer walking to tackling buses and the traffic - it's a far more relaxing way to get to and from work. Under normal circumstances, sometimes walking can take less time than sitting in traffic or waiting on trains if you live close enough to do it. Also, think of all those pounds saved by walking.”

Top tip: Take well-lit and known routes. (Google Maps if you’re unsure). It is very rarely over the years as a female, I have felt uncomfortable or unsafe walking.

Bus

Darren Buxton, Personal Assistant at UK General

  • Travels from Bramley to Leeds

"I travel to and from work via two buses. I don’t drive and car-sharing isn’t currently an option for me. The benefits of travelling by bus are the time to download my thoughts from the day and switch off."

Top tip: Download an app on your mobile phone to purchase tickets and check ‘live’ bus times.

Join the Travel Plan Network

The Travel Plan Network is a free membership scheme for employers in West Yorkshire that are committed to encouraging their employees to travel to work sustainably. For more information or to join, visit our TPN webpage or email us to arrange a call with an Advisor.