Employee Forum Chairman at Volkswagen Financial Services to chair local workplace travel network
Richard Scott has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Smartgo Milton Keynes workplace travel network. Richard is also Employee Forum Chairman at Volkswagen Financial Services and replaces the former Chair, Andrew Bannister from Volkswagen Group.
Volkswagen Financial Services is a member of the Smartgo network, along with other major local employers including AG Barr, Milton Keynes City Centre Management, Milton Keynes Council, Network Rail, Red Bull Technology, Santander, The Open University, Transport Systems Catapult and Volkswagen Group.
Smartgo Milton Keynes provides these employers and their staff with a range of travel benefits and services to help make commuting and business travel cheaper, easier and more sustainable. The programme’s membership package includes travel incentives and discounts, transport expertise and collaboration opportunities with other employers and transport providers.
There has been a 'remarkable surge' in demand for ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK, with sales of plug-in hybrid cars increasing four-fold in 2014.
New annual figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed that sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) - including electric cars and hybrids - rose by 58% last year, with 51,739 new AFVs registered.
AFV sales accounted for a market share of 2.1% in 2014 - up from 1.4% a year earlier. Overall car sales increased by 9.3% to just south of 2.5 million.
I spend my business life promoting the case for sustainable travel.
This sector can be perceived as being overly-fixated on cycling, walking and public transport as ‘alternative’ modes of transport – sometimes to the point of developing an anti-car lobby. However, we firmly believe that car use is an important part of the sustainable travel mix.
Sustainable travel is not just about getting cars off the road. If we are to achieve the necessary major reductions in CO2 emissions from transportation over the next 10-20 years, manage traffic growth and engage businesses, then cars have to be part of the solution and professional car management is required, for both private and fleet vehicles. They cannot and should not be seen as the problem.
Employee requirements drive consideration of transport options
Businesses today are built around the flexibility that cars offer. For those working in out of town destinations the only real option is the car. However, as factors such as reduced parking spaces and rising fuel costs impact these businesses ever more, other transport options begin to be considered.
International car hire provider, Sixt is to offer 15 per cent discount off hire prices to over 80,000 business and leisure users across Leicester, Milton Keynes and Stevenage. The agreement, signed with sustainable travel specialist, Go Travel Solutions will offer major savings on car hire in the UK for all members of the Smartgo sustainable travel networks in the three areas, plus members of the Business Travel Networks in Coalville and Loughborough in Leicestershire.
Per Voegerl, Managing Director Commercial & Administration at Sixt said: “Sixt understand the demand of businesses for cost and carbon effective transportation. With a wide branch network of 168 branches all over the UK and a large fleet of premium cars of all sizes, Sixt is able to provide flexible and convenient mobility solutions for private and corporate customers. To help optimise their business travel we are happy to support Go Travel Solutions with 15 per cent off car hire.”
Train stations across the country will benefit from improved cycling facilities thanks to £15 million of new government funding, Transport Minister Baroness Kramer announced today (4 July 2014) on the eve of the Tour de France coming to the UK.
The improvements will make it easier for people to ride bicycles and use trains by providing more and better cycle parking and other cycle-friendly facilities at railway stations, helping cut pollution and ease congestion on our roads.
The minister announced the funding as she officially opened the new £850,000 Sheffield Cycle Hub - a flagship facility that provides 415 bike spaces alongside changing rooms and repair facilities at the city’s train station.