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We want to hear what you’ve got to say about travelling in more sustainable ways, and why it can be difficult. 

We had a record level of engagement with both the staff and student travel survey in October 2020. While the travel survey gives us good data about what our community currently does, and some information about the preferences of staff and students, we need to know more about what people aren’t doing. Put simply, we want to understand why sustainable travel might not be viewed as an option for staff and students at Cambridge. As a University we have implemented a lot of measures designed to support sustainable travel, but we are seeing diminishing returns from these interventions. So, what are we missing? 

What is the Let’s Talk Transport campaign? 

In our Let’s Talk Transport campaign, we invite you to help us understand what barriers you are experiencing to sustainable travel so that we can move forwards together. Is there something that’s always stopped you trying travel modes such as walking, cycling, bus, train and car sharing? Do you have specific circumstances or preferences which don’t seem to fit with sustainable travel options?  

We are aiming to better understand the lived experience of Cambridge staff and students, and the barriers that exist for you when accessing sustainable transport options. We might need to try and implement schemes to help people with disabilities, mobility issues, neurodiversity, mental health issues or caring responsibilities who are experiencing barriers we don’t currently know about. We may also need to consider more ‘multi-modal’ initiatives that perhaps combine a longer car journey to the edge of the city with the last few miles by a more sustainable mode such as micro scooter or electric bike.  

This campaign is being run in partnership with ourCambridge and the University Disability Resource Centre (DRC). Their expertise will be put to good use helping to facilitate workshops and open conversations, as well as providing important context on barriers that disabled members of our community may face.  

The information gathered through this campaign will give us a starting point for the next iteration of the Transport Strategy which is due to start in 2024.  

Get involved 

The Let’s Talk Transport campaign runs throughout the Easter term and has two phases. In the first phase we are running a series of events (detailed below) to explain what we already do, what we are planning to roll out and what innovations we are putting in place to help overcome the barriers we already know about.  

The second phase of the campaign is a listening phase, we will be running focus groups and 1:1 surgery sessions where you can come and tell us about the barriers you face and what we could do to help you overcome them. This could be as simple as changing the height of a cycle rack or as complex as the need for on-demand public transport. The focus groups will be facilitated by ourCambridge and attended by a member of staff from the DRC.

If you are interested in taking part in these sessions you can complete an online expression of interest form:

Events programme

Transport: a partnership approach 

13 May, 14:00-15:00

A discussion of the barriers to sustainable travel on a regional level and how we are working together to overcome them. The discussion will cover topics such as planning and design of new developments, new infrastructure and space priority, technology and innovation as well as who we partner with to achieve positive change. We will be joined by Paul Milliner (Head of Estate Strategy & Planning); Debbie Bondi (GCP Programme Manager); Tim Bellemy (Strategy and Policy Transport Manager at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority); Dan Thorp (Director of Policy and Programmes at Cambridge Ahead), Gemma Schoder (Cambridgeshire County Council Smart Cambridge Programme Manager Connecting Cambridgeshire). 

Sign up here.

Premier of micro documentary series on the Universal bus

17 May  

A series of short videos being released via social media channels will explain how the bus service helps breakdown sustainable travel barriers. 

Follow us on Twitter @CambridgeSust and Facebook @CUsustainabilityteam to see them launch!

The role of autonomy in the future transport system 

25 May, 10:00-11:00

Autonomous vehicles have attracted a lot of attention in recent years and the enabling technologies in this area are moving rapidly. However, the gap between technical capability and operational functionality is wide. This event will discuss the current levels of technical capability and explore the practical application of these technologies in the context of the foreseeable transport needs in and around Cambridge. 

Sign up here.

Introduction to our transport initiatives 

26 May, 12:30-13:30

Come and hear about the initiatives we run to help you travel sustainably and learn more about the launch of two brand new schemes:  

  • ‘Personalised Travel Planning’ where you can receive tailored information and advice to help you on your commute; and, 
  • ‘Borrow a Bike’ which will allows you to loan a bike to trial for several months. Bikes will include folding bikes and electric bikes. 

Sign up here.

Mike Davies (Transport Manager) in conversation with Camcycle  

1 June, 19:00-21:00

A presentation and Q&A covering the improvements to active travel we are making. Join the public meeting live via the Camcycle Facebook channel: 

The technology behind autonomous vehicles 

8th June, 14:00-15:00

A technical presentation discussing the cutting-edge technologies being used to deliver the autonomous shuttle trials at the West Cambridge Campus. 

Sign up here.

If you are interested in taking part in a focus group or having a 1:1 transport discussion with one of our team then please complete the online expression of interest form which can be found here.  

We look forward to talking transport with you soon! 

Written by Jo Beale, Transport Coordinator