Public Health Wales supports Cardiff Healthy Travel Charter

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Along with 14 leading public sector organisations based in Cardiff today (23rd April), we have signed the newly developed Healthy Travel Charter, committing to supporting and encouraging our staff and visitors to travel in a sustainable way to and from our sites.

Through 14 ambitious actions, the charter promotes walking, cycling, public transport and ultra-low emission vehicle use. The actions include establishing a network of sustainable travel champions, developing targeted communications campaigns for staff, offering and promoting the cycle to work scheme and increasing the availability of video-conferencing for meetings to reduce the number of journeys staff need to make across sites.

As a whole, the 14 organisations will commit to reducing the proportion of journeys commuting to and from work made by car from 62% to 52%, increasing the proportion of staff cycling weekly to and from work from 14% to 23%, and increase the proportion of vehicles used during the day which are plug-in hybrid or pure electric from 1% to 3% by 2022.

Air pollution in parts of Cardiff exceeds EU legal limits, increasing the risk to health, with road transport responsible for around 80% of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) measured at the roadside. Long-term effects of air pollution include increased rates of lung disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer. By working together with a view to the long-term, public sector organisations in the City aim to increase the proportion of journeys made to and from workplaces which are sustainable, reducing the impact on the environment and health of people in Cardiff for current and future generations. The public sector in Cardiff employs almost one in three adults in the City.

Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council and Chair of Cardiff Public Services Board said:

“We are delighted that members of Cardiff PSB, along with other public sector organisations in the City, are joining together to make this important series of pledges to support people to travel more sustainably in our City.

“As a Council we are committed to cleaning the air in Cardiff and are currently consulting on our Clean Air Strategy, which includes measures to improve the active travel infrastructure in the City and reduce emissions from public transport.”

Tracey Cooper, CEO of Public Health Wales said:

“We are very pleased to be working together with our public sector partners in Cardiff to launch this charter, with a view to sharing learning across all our sites across Wales.

“As an organisation we promote active travel to and from work and support staff to travel less in work, for example by the use of teleconference and videoconferencing facilities wherever possible”.

The full list of organisations which signed the charter at a launch event at Cardiff City Hall is as follows: Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Natural Resources Wales, South Wales Fire and Rescue, South Wales Police, HM Prison and Probation, Welsh Government, National Assembly for Wales, Sport Wales, Public Health Wales, HM Revenue & Customs, National Museum for Wales, Welsh Ambulance, and the Office of the Future Generations Commissioner. Together, these organisations employ over 33,000 members of staff in the city of Cardiff, whom they will be encouraging to make a healthy and sustainable change to the way they travel.

The early indication is that this policy is already reducing our business mileage and helping staff to benefit from less travel time.