News & Views

Employee Forum Chairman at Volkswagen Financial Services to chair local workplace travel network

Richard Scott has been appointed as the new Chairman of the Smartgo Milton Keynes workplace travel network. Richard is also Employee Forum Chairman at Volkswagen Financial Services and replaces the former Chair, Andrew Bannister from Volkswagen Group.

Volkswagen Financial Services is a member of the Smartgo network, along with other major local employers including AG Barr, Milton Keynes City Centre Management, Milton Keynes Council, Network Rail, Red Bull Technology, Santander, The Open University, Transport Systems Catapult and Volkswagen Group.

The government wants the UK to become a world leader in driverless technology.

It will publish a code of practice in the spring which will allow the testing of autonomous cars to go ahead.

Self-drive pods that will be tested in Milton Keynes and Coventry are unveiled for the first time.

The government promised a full review of current legislation by the summer of 2017.

That review will consider whether a higher standard of driving should be demanded of automated vehicles.

There has been a 'remarkable surge' in demand for ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK, with sales of plug-in hybrid cars increasing four-fold in 2014. 

New annual figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed that sales of alternatively-fuelled vehicles (AFVs) - including electric cars and hybrids - rose by 58% last year, with 51,739 new AFVs registered. 

Pictured (L-R) in the attached image are: Robin Pointon (Managing Director of Go Travel Solutions), Neil Fulton (Programme Director for the Automated Transport Systems Business Unit at The Transport Systems Catapult), and Andrew Bannister (Chairman of Smartgo Milton Keynes and Group Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for Volkswagen Group UK)

National Intelligent Mobility organisation joins Smartgo Milton Keynes Steering Group.

A stretch of glow-in-the-dark road markings has been installed in the Netherlands after being proposed as one of several "smart highway" features that could be put to wide use.

Route 66 of the Future uses special green paint, charged by daylight.

It is designed to be clearer than existing cat's eye reflective spheres.

Its creators are also due to test glow-in-the-dark cycle lanes, which they said had already attracted the interest of UK planners.

Smartgo Loughborough is a A travel initiative co-ordinated by Go Travel Solutions offering ways for businesses to save money, improve health and enhance corporate responsibility. It was good to see Smartgo Loughborough featured in the Leicester Mercury outlining the support available for businesses in Loughborough through the scheme. Below are sections taken from Leicester Mercury.

A new scheme aims to help make commuting and business travel cheaper, easier and more sustainable in a Leicestershire town.

Personalised Travel Planning (as part of the Thinktravel programme) has made 26 offers of employment.  Of these, 22 were assisted living/long term unemployed referral candidates.  

The personal story of Louise Bodman below outlines what the opportunity meant for her:

New Beginnings

"I was fortunate to join the Thinktravel project at the very beginning, in February 2014. My position was Team Leader, and my role was to lead a team of Advisors promoting Sustainable Travel in and around the Gloucester area.

There were a lot of ups and down with the job, too hot, too cold, too wet and so on.  However, all the positives certainly outweighed the negatives.  I don’t think one shift went by, without an Advisor coming over to tell me what a great interview they had just had.

It wasn’t just about giving out information on the bus services or cycle routes, it was passing on information that opened up a new way of life for some people.

More on this story can be found on: Thinktravel.info

Recent research undertaken by University of East Anglia (UEA) suggests that active commuters felt better able to concentrate and under less strain than when travelling by car.

It was highlighted that going by public transport was preferable to driving, data from 18,000 UK commuters over 10 years suggested.

Researchers said policies encouraging people to leave their cars at home could have a big impact on well-being.

The physical health benefits of exercise are already well known and this study reinforces the idea that there are positive psychological effects too.

For more on this article see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29175088 

Source: BBC News

 

According to Ecotricity, the company that has installed a network of charging stations along the UK's motorways, we are seeing a "revolution".

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders indicated that electric car sales have now topped the 10,000 mark in the UK.

As well as government incentives that have cut ownership costs, a key development is the roll-out of a network of superfast chargers at motorway stations.

Over the past year, Ecotricity say they have installed around 170 of these units, covering 90% of the network.

These allow you to charge your car battery up 80% in 20-30 minutes.

For more on this article see: BBC News

Plans to build two new cycleways have been unveiled by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Transport for London said they would be Europe's longest substantially-segregated cycleways.

There will be north-south and east-west routes, with other protected cycle routes being created for dangerous junctions.

The cycleways are central to the mayor's £913m investment in improving cycling in the capital.

Work will start early next year.

For more on this article see: BBC News

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