Browsing articles in "club events"
Apr 16, 2013

Jane’s Walk 2013

 CTPC Jane's Walk Poster

National walking month kicks off in Colchester with the world famous Jane’s Walks and the sun has even come out to join us!

 Jane’s Walk celebrates the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs by getting local people showing off their local area through a series of free led walks. This international event happens every year at the start of May and its back in Colchester for the 3rd year running.

 There are many guided walks planned for the Bank Holiday weekend of the 3rd to the 6th of May with plenty of local people getting involved there is something for everyone, CTPC and the University of Essex are even hosting some walks.

 Join Kate Dunton with her short lunch time walk around the beautiful campus of the University of Essex and learn of its tales, urban myths and history. The walk starts outside the Lakeside Café at 1pm on the 3rd of May and lasts one hour.

 We ourselves are leading two lunch time tours exploring Colchester’s transport history where we rediscover the forgotten tramlines that still lay beneath the surface of our town! The first, starting outside the Town Hall, takes place on the 3rd of May, from 12:15 till 1pm. But encase you can’t make that one why not join us for a picnic (weather permitting) on Hilly Fields during the extended tour taking place on the 6th of May, again meeting outside the Town Hall at 12:15 but lasting till 2pm.

There is plenty going on and we encourage you to get involved and enjoy yourself, find out more information and see what other tours are being given  here.

May 8, 2012
Andrew Budd

Active Travel – Walking in May, Cycling in June

With a special summer of sport on its way, with the European Nations’ football tournament, the Olympics, and the Paralympics, plus the regular Wimbledon and Tour de France, we could spend the whole summer on the sofa, watching all this activity? Fortunately there’s lots going on locally to encourage and support us, if we want to get active ourselves; stepping out with walking in May, and cycling in June.

We’re now into National Walking Month, and Colchester Travel Plan Club is booting-up for WALK TO WORK WEEK, 14-18 MAY. Some Colchester Travel Plan Club member organisations have signed up for this, and office teams have been invited to take part in a little friendly competition.

Here’s the link for the national event Over the next few days your CTPC workplace co-ordinator should sign up your company. If you’re not in the CTPC you can still join in the fun, by registering your company yourself. And for individuals where the company has chosen not to take part, you can still join in by signing -up as an individual. We believe there are already some small businesses and individuals in Colchester that have done that, but we won’t know for sure until the Walk to Work Week’s starting gates open on the 14th May.

“WALK TO WORK” (no, it’s not just about the walk to work) was one of the topics discussed at the CTPC Active Travel event, held on 25 April 2012 at Colchester General Hospital. The other main topic for ACTIVE TRAVEL was CYCLING.

Caroline Bates, fundraiser for Colchester Hospital Charity (CoHoC), spoke about their BIKE TO WORK CHALLENGE at the Hospital, and CTPC members agreed to join in. Caroline’s great idea is that all Colchester workplaces join in with the Bike to Work Challenge, and the individuals donate their bus fares or petrol money to the hospital charity. Bike Week will be 16-24 June, with more information about Caroline’s event at 

Find us at “Colchester Travel Plan Club” on Facebook, and @travelplanclub on Twitter.

Dec 21, 2011
Andrew Budd

2011? Where did that go?

It’s an exciting time right now at the Travel Plan Club. We’ve just won funding from Defra for an air quality project in Colchester, which we hope will go massive from January to March 2012. Then there’s a bid for European Regional Development Fund to support our work on Active Travel, particularly with SMEs in North Colchester Business Parks, again we hope to announce this in the New Year.

But, best of all, our current members are continuing their support for the Club. Many of our local businesses and organisations have gone through major changes in 2011, and budget cuts, so it is particularly pleasing that members have chosen to carry on their good Travel Planning work in partnership with Colchester Travel Plan Club.

So we’re here again in 2012, but it won’t be business as usual. The Club exists only to serve its members, and what our members wanted in 2011, isn’t what our members will want in 2012. That’s cool; your co-ordinators like new challenges. And the two newly funded projects will stretch us. But what do our loyal members want from the Club in 2012? Please get in touch, or take part in our next Meeting on Wednesday morning, 25 January 2012, when we will plan next year’s work.

Looking back on the year 2011, for all of us at our workplaces, it’s sometimes possible for us to focus too much on what we haven’t done, and overlook our achievements.  Thanks to receiving a random e-mail about our past work, Emily found some notes about our Active Travel themed session last 20 April, held at the University of Essex, showing some of the work we have done with our members. (These notes haven’t appeared on this website before, as we went live from June.) Here’s a selection of the original notes, and our end-of-the-year update:

ACE Health Trainer Service. Sue Felgate gave us an overview to reinforce our knowledge about the growing obesity epidemic due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and over consumption of food. The car and office based working plays a big part in this and workplaces have an important role in encouraging and supporting people to be more active.ACE offer a wealth of resources from their resource centre including range of leaflets and personal walking plan booklets etc. Contact Sue for more information tel: 01206 288616/07717 130 473,  email

Update:  The TPC have presented at subsequent training sessions for workplace champions during 2011

Cycle Tech Colchester. Ben Paton offers a mobile cycle maintenance service and can come to your work place and offer a range of on site services including Dr Bike safety checks, bike fleet management, private maintenance work, emergency response service, bike maintenance lessons for staff. Ring 07909 280 125,  visit   email

Update: Ben was in Culver St West every Friday through summer and autumn, offering a free Dr Bike 15 minute check. The TPC helped spread the word, and this offer was taken up by hundreds of Colchester people. 

Cycle to Work Scheme. Michelle Lay-Flurrie from Colchester Borough Council gave us a useful overview of the Cycle to Work scheme and its success at CBC (an HMRC initiative to help people buy a decent bike and accessories at a discounted price through salary sacrifice).

Update: The Travel Plan Club recommends Cyclescheme as a Cycle to Work scheme provider. The government’s rules on how to implement the scheme changed during the year, and Emily kept members informed on how best to deal with the latest conditions.

Pedometer challenges to promote walking. Charlotte Humphries from the University of Essex, told us about her successful pedometer challenge held last year, and her stepping-out plans for this year.

Update: Promoting walking is key to many of the TPC objectives. Look out for “Legs Eleven” in spring 2012!

Pool Bikes. Harvey Panrucker from Essex County Council talked about the growth of their pool bike scheme, and how they have rolled this out to other organisations as part of an overall Travel Plan package.

Update: Pool bikes from ECC are now available for staff at DSG, Colchester Institute and Colchester Borough Council, linked with ECC’s Business Travel Plan accreditation scheme.

 Walk Colchester and Jane’s Walk Weekend. Rowena Macaulay from Walk Colchester talked about her community based project “to promote and facilitate safe and enjoyable pedestrianism”. Walk Colchester is holding the UK’s first Jane’s Walk weekend over 7th and 8th May, two days of local walks led by local people, taking place simultaneously around the world, celebrating the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs (1916-2006).

Update: This weekend was an outstanding success. Well done Walk Colchester. The TPC were glad to share details of your event with our members.

Living Streets Walking Calculator. The national charity promoting walking has a free online calculator that will be available for logging walking undertaken in Walk to Work week 9th – 13th May as part of a national walking challenge.

Update: The Living Streets’ online walking calculator didn’t work as well as we had hoped, and take up in Colchester was limited.

Bike Week 2011. Pam Nelson of many hats, here representing Colchester Cycling Campaign and Cycle Colchester, talked about the history of the celebration of Bike Week in Colchester. There are a number of community lead Bike Week events happening, more on this later.

Update: Cycle Colchester had another good year, with the project continuing even though the government had stopped funding it. Many thanks to the local authorities and voluntary sector for keeping the flag flying.

(Thanks to “One Simple Act” from Alberta, Canada for the “idle” sign.)

Nov 8, 2011
Andrew Budd

Cutting Carbon at Sixth Form College

The Sixth Form College has been hosting meetings since 1912.  Here’s a gathering of the Colchester Flat Cap and Bicycle Clips Society in 1921.

Carbon emissions are a global problem. But what’s happening locally? Club Members were shown round Sixth Form College by Keith Ellis. He’s the guy that’s busy putting in place environmental projects at the College, making sure new developments follow good environmental principles, and also greening the older parts of the College and grounds.

And what about Travel Planning? The College is in an ideal location  for “anything but the (solo) car”. With its central location there are frequent buses to most of Colchester, cycle routes and parking, walking distance to main line and branch line railway stations – and limited car parking space. So, well done Keith and colleagues, for all the good work you have delivered at the College.

“Cutting Carbon Emissions From Travel” was the theme for the TPC Event at VIth Form College. Rachel Brody from Essex County Council shared infromation about their “Business Travel Decision Tree”, which clearly sets out the organisation’s policies on what form of transport must be used for different trips. Check on this link for an introduction to ECC’s “Helping You Create a Business Travel Plan” publication.

“Inntel” shared with us, the services their company can offer. They currently provide a travel and accommodation booking service for Essex CC. They could save your company money through the good deals that they have negotiated, and reducing the time spent by your staff on such matters.

“Smarter Driving” included a local car-sharing campaign which we expect to run in 2012. We will be using part of an award from DEFRA, won by the TPC in partnership with Colchester Borough Council, in connection with improving air quality. Nigel Campling of V102 ran through his ideas for a video clip which we plan will become viral, especially for the target group – the 18-30s who have the best potential for car sharing. It will be tested with that group in December, and launched in January.

On the buses, Emily described new deals with local bus operators, the new timetables and routes, and the soon-to-be-released TPC bus map. The Travel Plan Club is the only source of a detailed bus map for Colchester, showing the frequent routes operated locally. Maybe, at some stage in the future, the bus operators or the highway authority will be able to produce such a map for their customers, but at present it’s only your TPC who are prepared to run with this bus-baton. When it’s completed we will share a link with you. In the meantime here’s the best travel planner we know of.

TPC members gave updates on car sharing schemes and pool bikes, before the final item, the “Legs Eleven” walking promotion for North Colchester Business Parks. Justin Lewis of Vacuumatic outlined the project so far. We have now secured enough funding to be confident we can make it happen, so look out for it in the New Year.

And finally, the tour of the College. Thanks again Keith for hosting. Our next Meeting is on 25 January 2012, where we will be planning our work and targets for the year – can you host?  Our next Event is pencilled in for April – do you have a theme you would like us to explore?


Sep 6, 2011
Andrew Budd

Legs Eleven gets green light

I’ve got an idea for you.” Justin Lewis from Vacuumatic, at Severalls Business Park, got in touch with us recently. He’s keen on playing his part in reducing traffic congestion in the area where he works, and he’s also interested in people getting a bit of fresh air at lunchtime.  He’s a leader of the business community in the area, although, with Justin’s modest nature, he would probably shrug his shoulders and say “well I’m just interested in what’s going on“.

A few of us are keen on going for a walk at lunchtime, and we enjoy it so much, we thought others might like to try it – so maybe the Travel Plan Club would like to take on a walking project?” Yes indeed, the TPC is very interested, especially as we want to work with more businesses in North Colchester Business Parks (NCBP), and it ticks our “traffic congestion/ public health/ low-cost” boxes.

And so, the Legs Eleven project was born. Justin and colleagues have come up with nine routes round the business parks, and Emily and I have come up with two more walking routes taking us just off-site. Justin suggested a series of cards, to show people the route and places along the way – landmarks for wayfinding, places to eat, and snippets of interesting information. As it’s a community project we want to work with local businesses to prepare the cards, and promote the walks, so watch out for our appearance at your local networking events. (And give us an invitation to your event!)

What’s more, we’ll be there with you, stepping out. Look out for our led walks “Highwoods Ramble” and “Tesco Grab”,  in spring 2012. With a media campaign, we expect Legs Eleven will capture the imagination, promoting the businesses at NCBP. We will soon be in touch with you so that your business can be part of this great local initiative. Says Andrew Budd “with Legs Eleven on its way, lunchtimes have never been such fun“.


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