Regional Transport Consortium, Sewta, is offering cash incentives to organisations that help their staff travel in more sustainable ways
Sewta (the South East Wales Transport Alliance) which co-ordinates transport strategy, plans and programmes for the 10 local councils stretching from Bridgend to Monmouthshire, is offering grants of up to £10,000 to businesses, schools, colleges and other organisations that are keen to promote sustainable travel and can put forward an effective travel plan.
The grants can be used to finance facilities such as cycle parking, lockers, pool bikes, car share spaces, cycle training or any scheme that will cut the number of staff or visitors driving to their premises alone.
Sewta has set aside £100,000 from this year’s Regional Transport Capital Programme to support such sustainable travel initiatives. More than 50 schemes have already received funding through the grant programme, which is now in its fourth successful year.
Organisations funded included: Pontypridd High School, The Intellectual Property Office, Newport; G E Aviation, Nantgarw; The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff; Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff; Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Nelson and Monmouthshire Housing Association, Pontypool.
The Chair of Sewta, Cllr Andrew Morgan said:
“A lack of funding is often the key problem for organisations who want to offer employees the practical options which support a change in the way they travel. Now, thanks to support from the Welsh Government, Sewta is able to offer organisations from across the region the opportunity to apply for funding for imaginative and practical initiatives that support their travel plans.”
Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Executive Administrator, Amanda Townsend, said:
“The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama is committed to its Sustainable Travel Plan. In 2012, following receipt of a grant from Sewta the College established a pool bike scheme for staff which has proved extremely popular.
“As well as using the bikes for business travel staff members are also encouraged to use them for exercise in their lunch breaks and free time. Not only is this environmentally friendly, it also saves on transport and travel costs and encourages healthier workday routines.
“Staff members have also used the pool bikes to ‘try-out’ cycling and as a result a number have purchased their own bikes via the Government’s Cycle to Work scheme.”
Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water Sustainability Co-ordinator, Fiona Jehu, said:
“The Welsh Government-funded Sewta Travel Grant has enabled Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to provide fantastic new cycle shelters and locker facilities for its employees, encouraging them to cycle and walk to work. Since their installation we have been pleasantly surprised by the increase in numbers using them and some of our cycle shelters are regularly full. We expect numbers to increase further in the Spring/Summer time when the weather improves and we will be holding an official launch of our Travel Action Plan in May.”
Cost Analyst at Welsh Water, William Heap, sold his car last year and now cycles to work every day:
“I would not revert back to driving to work, I prefer cycling and my travelling time is put to good use as exercise. My journey to work is so much more pleasant, I feel healthier, fitter and happier and feel I have more energy,” he said.
“Once I started, I found that cycling is much less effort than it appeared to be so, I encourage anyone who could cycle to work to give it a go. With the new facilities on site available to cyclists my journey is made easier and my bicycle is safer.”
Applicants for the Sewta sustainable travel grants are invited to discuss their proposal informally before applying, and should contact Deborah Stux on 029 2078 8526 or visit www.gettravelwise.com for an application form. The closing date to apply for funding is 12th July 2013