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.)

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