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Travel Advice for Commuters

GCU_SmartTravel is a commuter engagement programme delivering emissions reductions from student and staff commuting by highlighting cheaper, quicker and lower carbon alternative modes of transport.

The programme is underpinned by triennial travel surveys which help quantify carbon emissions, understand travel habits and identify key determinants for the selection of mode of transport.

Travel Advisors are recruited from the student body and trained to develop their understanding of existing travel habits, local transport options and engagement techniques. These insights are used to develop a framework of distance band and mode of transport specific engagement strategies to foster face-to-face conversations about more sustainable commuting. Travel Advisors are employed throughout the year but the focus of their activity is around the start of the Academic Year when travel decisions haven’t been finalised.

Comparing the modal split in the 2018 and 2015 Travel Surveys and assuming that travel advisors are most likely to foster a switch to more sustainable modes of travel amongst those individuals living or considering living 10 miles of the University, it is estimated that an additional 1,800 students and staff walked or cycled to the University in 2018 than in 2015. 

Each of these individuals is likely to save an average £245 per academic year (the average price for two ten-week bus passes) and collectively they save £441,000 per academic year in avoided transport costs.

The shift towards more sustainable modes of transport to commute to GCU also means that greenhouse gas emissions from student and staff commuting were around 2,000 tonnes CO2e lower in 2018 than if there had been no change in how they travelled to the University.

GCU_SmartTravel was finalist in the 2019 Green Gown Awards (GGA19_finalist_certificate).

GGA 2019 finalist banner.