The Challenge

The Isle of Wight has an economy which performs below the average for wider Solent LEP and South East areas as a whole. Many employees are mainly based in the Medina Valley (between Cowes and Newport) and there is strong planning policy approach towards facilitating sustainable employment provision within this area, but the area has poor air quality, congestion, and high single-occupancy vehicle use.

Isle of Wight Council secured £1.35m from the Department for Transport (DfT) Access Fund for Sustainable Travel; a three-year sustainable transport investment programme which seeks to improve the local economy by supporting access to new and existing employment, education and training, and actively promote increased levels of physical activity through walking and cycling.

SYSTRA's Role

Between 2017 and 2019, SYSTRA worked with Isle of Wight Council to deliver the ambitious workplace travel plan programme, seeking to engage with 30,000 employees across the Island. Working with 20 key employers including the NHS Trust, Council, and BAE Systems, our role included achieving formal sign-up by the businesses, collating baseline data, developing site-specific Travel Plans, working with the businesses to deliver interventions, and monitoring success.

By developing comprehensive travel plans and facilitating walking, cycling, car sharing, and public transport initiatives, the programme aims to reduce the number of vehicle trips and ‘normalise’ walking and cycling. We worked with Liftshare to launch a car share platform on the Island and worked closely with local suppliers of cycles and electric bikes with the goal of reducing single occupancy car trips to work. We further added value to the programme by creating a bespoke website and marketing materials, delivering networking events and exploring ‘smart mobility’ on the Island.