Celebrating the first Modeshift STARS Business Bronze Accreditation to be awarded to a Birmingham workplace

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has been awarded Modeshift STARS Business Bronze Accreditation for the delivery of their Travel Plan, making it the first workplace in Birmingham to achieve this award.

The Trust’s Travel Plan has been created and overseen by Fran Silcocks, Sustainability Officer for Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, and clearly demonstrates their commitment to forming a greener and more sustainable workplace. A big part of their goal is looking at the way staff travel and making it easier and better for people to choose walking, cycling, public transport, low emission vehicles or car sharing rather than travelling individually by car.

The Trust’s Travel Plan sets out objectives to reduce the dependence of staff on travel by private car, including:

  • Promote sustainable and active modes of travel
  • Advocate means of travel that are beneficial to the health of those working at or visiting the site
  • Minimise car travel in the area surrounding the site, cutting down on associated costs (including environmental, financial and health)
  • Reduce car parking pressures

The number and range of actions delivered by the Trust in order to encourage active and sustainable travel or reduce car dependency is truly impressive – in fact over forty actions are detailed in their Travel Plan! Through the delivery of these measures, staff can benefit from a bike loan scheme, discounted bikes through the Cycle to Work Scheme, better cycle storage and facilities such as lockers, a car share scheme, led walks and discounted public transport when car parking passes are surrendered. A regular Sustainability newsletter is sent out to all staff providing information about schemes, offers and events and the Trust’s Green Impact staff engagement programme provides staff teams with awards for their contributions to making their workplace greener and more sustainable.

Previous staff travel surveys suggest that the number of staff and visitors driving to the sites remains high. The Trust therefore aims to use their Travel Plan to monitor and review actions and to help identify future modal share targets in order to shape the Travel Plan ongoing. This is in line with the Modeshift STARS principles of effective travel planning through a continuous process of planning, delivering and reviewing sustainable travel activity.

With Birmingham City Council and partners taking radical measures to achieve a low carbon, clean air recovery from lockdown, prioritising walking, cycling and public transport as well as preparing for Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone, there has never been a better time for workplaces to engage in effective travel planning. We congratulate Sandwell and West Birmingham’s NHS Trust for the steps they have made towards creating a greener workplace through their Travel Plan. We look forward to supporting the Trust as they work towards achieving Modeshift STARS Business Silver Accreditation.

Fran Silcocks said: “We have been working on travel and transport initiatives for a number of years with the target of reducing single occupancy driving to our sites. This has been very challenging. However, if we continue to promote and support active and sustainable modes of travel, alongside providing the infrastructure and working in partnership with our local authorities, we believe that we can create positive change.

As a health care provider, we have a duty of care to advocate improvements in air quality and are committed to positively contributing towards this. We are elated to be awarded Modeshift STARS Business Bronze Accreditation and look forward to working with our local authorities to improve air quality.”

Nick Butler, Modeshift STARS Accreditation Manager, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to award Bronze accreditation to Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, particularly given the current situation with COVID-19. The fact that the Trust have achieved accreditation during the crisis emphasises their commitment to delivering an effective Travel Plan that ensures staff, patients and visitors can access their sites safely and sustainably. As the first organisation in Birmingham to achieve STARS Business accreditation they will be an inspiration across the City and the region.”

Written By Mel Cannell – Birmingham City Council’s Travel Demand Management Team