A Better Way To Work
John-Paul Holden speaks to Matt MacDonald from The Bike Station about their new travel campaign, A Better Way To Work
With endless tram works bunging up Edinburgh, there’s never been a better time to get on your bike, and one new eco-travel project wants to help city commuters do just that. A Better Way To Work – managed by Edinburgh-based cycling and recycling charity The Bike Station – will bring a dizzying array of sustainable travel perks to the capital when it launches on 21 April.
Folding and hybrid bikes, free trial pay-as-you-go rental with City Car Club and free maps displaying cycle paths, walking routes and bus information are among the incentives in prospect. The aim: to get at least 12,500 workers out of their cars and onto cheaper, faster and greener modes of transport.
Matt MacDonald, travel choice adviser and cycle trainer at The Bike Station, believes the time is right for ABWTW. ‘Edinburgh is just teetering on the brink of change,’ he says. ‘There are so many cyclists and, with fuel costs rising and that being at the front of people’s minds, we think that there is a big opportunity for change. I’d love to see Edinburgh becoming a bit more continental, with lots of cyclists.’
In some ways ABWTW is about preaching to the converted. ‘We’ll first of all be trying to identify, through surveys and so on, the individuals who’d like to change,’ says MacDonald. ‘It’s about identifying the sort of people who’ve been thinking about cycling or taking the bus or car-sharing.’
The year-long scheme – funded with £750,000 from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund – will also work with resource-limited firms employing 500 or less where long term investment in sustainable transport for staff is more difficult.
‘How long we work with a company is going to be decided on a case-by-case basis,’ explains MacDonald. ‘If we have a particularly enthusiastic employer where we can make a large change, we’ll do as much as we can for them.’
ABWTW Edinburgh is only the beginning. ‘Providing these services to employers, we’re going to make a difference. It’s just a case of monitoring that and feeding it back to our funders and hopefully it will grow legs and spread around the country.’
A Better Way To Work launch with Dr Bike, Castle Street, Edinburgh, Wed 21 Apr, 10.30am-4pm. www.findabetterwaytowork.org