"Sustainable Transport in the City: Evening Panel Discussion" 25th April 2019


‘Sustainable Transport’ evening event co-hosted by The Future Economy Network and Ashfords.


On Thursday 25th April 2019, The Future Economy Network hosted an evening event about sustainable transport. The event took place at subscribers, Ashford’s city centre offices who also kindly laid on sustainable food and drink for the event provided by Wilde.  

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Attendees were welcomed by Director of The Future Economy Network, Katherine Piper who highlighted the benefits of subscribing to the Network, shared exciting news about The Future Economy Group’s move to their new carbon neutral sustainability hub, advised of their upcoming Festival of Sustainable Business and introduced new member of the team, Richard Murphy (Director of Recruitment).


The Future Economy Network then welcomed Sara Sloman, Principal Sustainable Travel and Road Safety Officer at North Somerset Council who spoke about the Go Ultra Low West £7m project in the West of England. She advised that now is the time for businesses to electrify their fleets, given that funding will end in 2021. Sara highlighted the benefits and challenges associated with switching to electric vehicles as well as stressing the importance of adherence to the transport hierarchy.


Head of Partnerships at Sustrans, Jon Usher then spoke about how standing still is no longer an option and we need to significantly and urgently reduce the number of people commuting by car. He suggested that as a society we are blind to the car’s negative impacts, with 195,000 people killed/injured on UK roads each year and 40,000 people per year killed in the UK as a result of poor air quality. Instead, Sustrans want walking and cycling to become the default mode of transport for commuters. Jon then went on to commend the Bristol Transport Strategy for recognising the need for fewer cars and to critique the Joint Local Transport Plan which he suggested is more a strategy than a plan. Finally, Jon spoke about transport in relation to climate change and how there has been very little reduction in carbon emissions for road transport in Bristol.


Finally, The Future Economy Network welcomed Helen Wigginton and Darron Hamilton from Bristol City Council’s sustainable transport team. Helen and Darron spoke about the various sustainable transport offers available via the TravelWest team. Amongst other things, the TravelWest team offer grants for EV Chargepoints, electric pool bikes and cycle parking. They highlighted the benefits associated with having an electric pool bike and also the positive impact that having walking and cycling champions can bring to businesses. They stressed that businesses still have the opportunity to register for the Travel Challenge and advised of the Bristol Workplace Travel Network meetings and Bike Breakfasts.

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Further networking over the remaining food and drinks drew the evening to a close. The Future Economy Network would like to offer sincere thanks to all of our speakers and to Network subscribers, Ashfords for co-hosting the event. Also, a huge thank you to all attendees – we hope you found it an interesting event and came away with some useful insights/collaborations.