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The University of Southampton

Improving transport options

Through our Travel Plan and financial regulations, we encourage our students, staff and visitors to consider how they are travelling, both locally and internationally. We help them to find more sustainable alternatives. Using our own internal research and in line with Goal 3 of our Sustainability Strategic Plan to 'set a business travel emissions reduction target and implement through an appropriate action plan', we created tools for our ‘behaviour change’ communications campaign to help staff and post-graduate students to reflect upon their reasons for travelling and to consider their options before booking: see the short film below and a Carbon Footprint Infographic .

Business Travel

Before booking business travel, staff are required to consult our Finance Policy (FP17) (UoS login required) which states 2 key principles:

"Any travel relating to University operations should align to Goal 3 of the Sustainability Strategy ‘adopt a value-based approach to reduce emissions from business travel”

“Travel activity should only be considered necessary when all other alternative means of conducting business have been assessed and discounted. Budget holders and line managers or supervisors should oversee the frequency and appropriateness of travel arrangements."

It also states "Internal flights are only permitted if the overall cost does not exceed that of alternative travel modes, unless the time saved travelling represents value for money."

Further, our policy on international air travel explicitly states “Air travel should only be undertaken when this is the most suitable mode of transport and there are no other means of carrying out the University business e.g. video conferencing.”

In 2021 an emissions calculator was incorporated into our travel booking system ‘Clarity,’ whereby trip emissions estimates were available to users.

Everyday Travel

Our Travel Plan is a live document. Regular staff and student travel surveys are carried out to inform the content of the Travel Plan.

It commits us to achieving environmental good practice throughout our travel activities by:

• Implementing flexible working arrangements that enable staff and students to reduce their need to travel
• Encouraging and supporting staff and students to consider the environmental impact of their business travel habits
• Providing staff, students and visitors with accurate travel information to help inform their travel choices
• Providing improved walking and cycling facilities on campuses and halls
• Working in partnership with other stakeholders to provide improved walking and cycling routes and other transport initiatives
• Developing the Uni-link bus service and connections with other public transport operators
• Implementing a car parking policy to encourage car users to seek alternatives or car share , and to support the use of low or zero emission vehicles
• Managing our fleet vehicles to maximise use and reduce costs and emissions
Sharing best practice with other higher education institutions (HEIs), public bodies and others
Improving the public realm to provide a better place for staff, students and visitors to work, study and socialise

What you can do

Please look for opportunities to introduce more sustainable travel habits into your everyday routines. You might start gradually, perhaps by starting to cycle in the summer months.

You can find much more information about sustainable transport options on our Transport website.

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