Updates on Campus Routes proposals

As you will have seen if you’ve been to the Earley Gate side of campus recently, we’ve been making some improvements to the shared paths there. Widening them to allow more space for cyclists and pedestrians to share space safely. The improvements in this location are a direct result of your feedback in previous Travel Surveys, that this was the spot that concerned the largest number of respondents.

This work forms the start of a programme of improvements to routes on campus. We hope you managed to view and comment on our proposals for Campus Routes and Quads development in the consultation earlier this year. Our responses to your feedback should be available shortly.

Why not segregated paths?
We have opted to widen paths for shared use, rather than provide segregated routes. This decision was based on recommendations from our consultants, based on an assessment of the usage levels of the routes, and is in accordance with current guidance for heavily used routes. (See below for links).

Reports suggest that while people often express a preference for segregation of pedestrians and cyclists, it doesn’t always perform well in practice, particularly where there are larger groups of pedestrians and where pedestrian movements might be at variance with the linear paths taken by cyclists. The reports note that larger groups of pedestrians tend to disregard segregation techniques, rendering them ineffective.

The conclusion for Whiteknights Campus was that a fully shared surface would provide a better environment than attempting to define segregated spaces which would need to be crossed frequently. By comparison, a level wider surface gives users a better opportunity to navigate past one another without conflict.

Our intention is to provide sufficient space for all path users to share the space safely. We will continue to monitor the situation and your feedback.

For those interested in further reading:

DfT Guidance on share use routes, including LTN 1-12 and the ‘Operational Review’ report
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/shared-use

A literature review for Wales Govt at: http://www.sustrans.org.uk/sites/default/files/file_content_type/phil_jones_associates_report_-_september_2011.pdf

A more recent feasibility study for the Royal Parks.
https://www.royalparks.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/63165/Shared-Use-Cycle-Paths-Feasibility-Study_FINAL_ISSUED-reduced.pdf

Skype for Business – Top Tip

IT have recently introduced Skype for Business at the University, something that many people have been asking about for a number of years. Having instant messaging and video conferencing facilities at our desks makes it easier for us to meet with people across the country and the world without the need to travel.

One thing that we’ve found useful in Sustainability Services is having Skype for Business open when your start your computer up. This has meant we can see when colleagues are available through the day so we can communicate whilst people are working remotely. So to make sure Skype for Business opens on start up follow the process below:

Log into Skype -> Go to tools -> Options -> Personal tab -> Then check the box that says “Automatically start the app when I log into Windows”

That’s it, really easy! Let us know what you think of Skype for Business and how you are using it to reduce the amount of travel you need to do. You could even instant message us…

Results out from 2012 Staff and Student Travel Survey

Travel Graph
Travel Graph

Thank you to everyone who completed the 2012 staff and student travel survey. There was a great response with over 3,000 completed surveys in total and a response rate of 40% of staff and 12% of all registered students taking part. This compares favourably with travel surveys at many other universities.

This gives a valuable set of data about our current travel and views to learn what needs to be prioritized. The survey prize winners have also been drawn!

Some of the headline results are shown in the pie chart above

  • 43% walk
  • 27% drive alone
  • 12% cycle
  • 5% train
  • 4% bus
  • 9% other modes – scooter/motorcycle, park & ride, taxi or work from home

65% of us take between 5-30 minutes to get to work.

Encouraging alternative modes

  • 40% of us would consider car sharing, with a guaranteed ride home; help in finding someone to share with; reduced parking permit price; and reserved parking spaces all popular responses for encouraging this
  • 39% of us would consider cycling, with improved routes to campus; a secure covered parking facility; CCTV for cycle storage; and improved routes through campus
  • 22% of us would consider travelling by bus, with cheaper fares; improved frequency; improved reliability; and a better choice of routes to most popular improvements to encourage bus use.

These results give the University’s Environment, Energy and Sustainability Team (EEST) clear ideas of where to focus improvements to make it easier for us to choose more sustainable modes of travel.

Some improvements have already be put in place and new covered cycle parking will be installed outside Agriculture and Old Whiteknights House over the next few months.

Parking permits

When asked what factors should affect the availability and price of a car parking permit:

  • 94% of us agree that whether or not the applicant has a disability is the most important factor
  • 79% agreed that being a member of staff or student should be taken in to account
  • 77% that if a car was shared this should be taken into account
  • 76% of us agreed frequency of attendance
  • 76% proximity of home to campus.

Awareness of initiatives

  • 72% were aware of the simplyuni bus passes
  • 69% of increased frequency in bus routes 20, 20a and 21 through Whiteknights campus
  • Only 31% aware of the £1 bus fares between London Road and Whiteknights campus
  • Only 30% aware of discounted cycle safety equipment from security in Whiteknights House
  • Only 35% aware of the car sharing website www.rucarsharing.com

The results highlight that more needs to be done to communicate improvements and changes to travel options. As a first step there will be updates made to the University travel web pages in the near future.

More detailed results from the survey, including breakdowns for our different campuses will be available once the analysis has been completed and these will be announced in due course.

Prize winners

Once again, thank you for taking part in the survey. The results will be acted upon. Congratulations to the lucky winners of the survey prize draw who were chosen using a random number generator – Judith Fox from the Library and Collections Services and Nicola Smith from the School of Biological Sciences.