Alternatives to private car use by mobile NHS professionals.
University of the West of England, Bristol.
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From 2009, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust (AWP) introduced a pioneering scheme (Golow) offering electric bicycles and pool cars to employees based in Bristol. One team (the ‘Zero Petrol Team’) now travels almost entirely by electric bike. This study aims to evaluate the experience of the Golow scheme, and also to explore the travel patterns and needs of mobile NHS professionals more generally, using AWP as a case study. Through an online survey, telephone interviews and a focus group of the Zero Petrol Team, the study aimed to explore the travel needs and constraints of AWP staff, their travel patterns, their experience of the Golow scheme, and the factors explaining the participation, or non-participation, of individual staff and work teams.
It found that much work travel can be done by sustainable modes. 60% of staff mainly used their own cars for travel, with cycling being the most common alternative, for 15%. The reasons given for driving, in most cases related to personal preferences rather than the nature of the travel itself, although most of those those who travelled by other means also reported occasional needs for a car. The reasons why some individuals and teams participated more than others related partly to social identification, with local managers sometimes playing the role of 'proto-typical leaders.'
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