Fueling Sustainable Commutes: A Recap of Our Active Travel Breakfast Event

by | May 30, 2024 | Environmental Sustainability (ES), Guest Authors | 0 comments

Blog by Alexandra Prodan, Research Project Officer

On Tuesday, 7th May the Faculty hosted an Active Travel Breakfast event to encourage staff from FBMH and across the University to use active travel to get to campus (be it through walking, wheeling, cycling or running). This event was made possible via funding from the Faculty, School of Biological Sciences, School of Medical Sciences and School of Health Sciences.

We had 49 staff register for the event, with 20 colleagues joining us on the day for a free breakfast and social get-together. We sent out a survey to the attendees of which 13 people completed it.

Here is what we learned from the responses.

What did you like most about the event?

In response to this question, 38% said meeting and chatting to other like-minded people with a passion for sustainability was the best thing about the event.  Other comments described the friendly atmosphere as a great environment for making connections. Staff were appreciative of the food on offer provided by the University’s hospitality tea. Therefore, social events like this one bring people from across the university together and should be continued. Moreover, 62% of attendees said this event made them more likely to travel actively to campus in future.

Future event suggestions

People have suggested that the timing was not ideal, with the event being organised straight after a bank holiday, which should be taken into consideration next time.  Also, attendees suggested that a voucher-based offer would be better so there is less food waste. Take-away boxes have been provided at this event and any excess food was shared with the students and staff in the Jean McFarlane building so nothing was wasted. Furthermore, some attendees recommended better publicity for the event in order to increase attendance numbers.

Top 3 things that could be done to support active travel at the University?

When asked about the top 3 things that could be done to support active travel at the university, future Active Travel Breakfast events were encouraged as a regular activity. Multiple comments were received suggesting the shower facilities could do with refurbishment and also that there should be more of them across campus. To add to this, attendees believed they would benefit from more locker space so they can store equipment and spare clothes when cycling or running in. Other suggestions included: better cycle-to-work scheme (to include second-hand bikes), better security for bikes with more covered cycle parking, and a staff bike hire or bike-share scheme. Attendees also commented that there needs to be more understanding and promotion through departments and support from colleagues regarding sustainable alternatives when commuting.

The survey allowed participants to express their views on the event and make suggestions on improvements.  From the responses received the event was well-received with those attending enjoying the social aspect with the opportunity to make connections with like-minded people. It was a nice incentive for people to travel actively to campus, an action which ties in with the university-wide vision of a zero-carbon future which should be encouraged more.

To find out more about Environmental Sustainability: visit the Faculty’s intranet page, website, read our ES Good Newsletter or contact srbmh@manchester.ac.uk . For more information on Environmental Sustainability at the University watch this short film or visit their website.