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Local sustainable transport fund case study evaluation: Strategic employment sites and business parks West of England summary report

Bartle, Caroline; Chatterjee, Kiron


Caroline Bartle
Research Fellow in Local Sustain Transport


In 2013 the UK Department for Transport commissioned a number of ‘Case Study evaluations’ of the impacts of Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) investment. One of these was an evaluation of LSTF impacts on Strategic Employment Sites and Business Parks. The aims of the evaluation were: to establish the impact of sustainable transport measures on commute mode use at selected strategic employment sites and business parks; to assess the impacts of these measures on the business performance of employers located at the sites; and to review the effectiveness of the LSTF delivery process. In the West of England, two strategic employment sites were investigated: the North Fringe and Ports areas of Bristol. A case study research approach was used to gather in-depth data from 25 employer organisations of different sizes and sectors, using a variety of research methods: employee travel surveys; in-depth semi-structured interviews with senior managers; and bus passenger surveys. All data collection was conducted in 2014 (Phase 1) and repeated in 2015/16 (Phase 2). In addition, a commuter panel survey ran between July 2014 and October 2015. The results showed that ‘pull factors’ were unlikely to bring about significant changes in commuter travel behaviour without measures which also ‘pushed’ employees into reducing their car-use. In the case of the North Fringe, which saw a statistically significant fall in car-alone mode share, the need to enforce parking restraints was a key issue for many employers. Statistical analysis showed that reduction in car parking availability was the primary factor leading to reduced car alone commuting. Nonetheless, there was evidence from both surveys and interviews that LSTF measures assisted individuals in using alternatives to the car once they had been prompted to do so by ‘push factors’ such as those listed above. LSTF measures to support cycling stood out in the North Fringe as attracting high levels of awareness among both senior managers and employees, and relatively high levels of use among employees. The importance of ‘push factors’ such as limits on parking also applied to employers’ engagement with sustainable transport issues, which tended to be prompted by a specific transport ‘problem’. Those employers adversely affected by limited parking, local traffic congestion, and/or transport-related recruitment difficulties, perceived a need for greater investment in sustainable transport, and were more likely to have engaged with the LSTF than those less affected. Employers who had engaged actively with the LSTF saw publically funded investment as part of a collaboration in which they also bore a responsibility. These employers regarded LSTF as useful ‘leverage’ for sustainable transport measures they wished to undertake themselves. LSTF grants could, for example, also lend weight to arguments within an organisation for investment in sustainable transport measures at a time when employers faced competing financial pressures.

Report Type Project Report
Publication Date Sep 6, 2018
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Bartle, C., & Chatterjee, K. (2018). Local sustainable transport fund case study evaluation: Strategic employment sites and business parks West of England summary report
Keywords sustainable transport, evaluation, business park, employers, commuting, modal shift
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0 (https://www.nationalarc...ent-licence/version/3/)


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