Employers offer help to encourage Ipswich staff to leave their cars behind

Ditch the Car case study - Thomas's Cycle Revolution. Pictured is Sam Clougherty. Picture GREGG BROW

Ditch the Car case study - Thomas's Cycle Revolution. Pictured is Sam Clougherty. Picture GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Some of the largest employers in Ipswich have backed our campaign to encourage people to leave their cars at home – and have explained how they encourage staff to find other ways to get to work.

The Ditch the Car campaign logo

The Ditch the Car campaign logo - Credit: Archant

And cycle businesses have backed calls for people to consider getting on two wheels as a way of beating the rush-hour jams and getting fitter.

Both Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough Council have staff car parks at their offices in Russell Road. But their staff have to pay to use the parks – and the money raised is used to promote other ways of reaching work.

At the borough the charges are used to fund a staff green transport scheme which helps to subsidise public transport tickets or cycle equipment.

Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere said: “We understand many people have no alternative to using their car, but for those who do want to use other ways of getting to work we do all we can to encourage them.

“For those who need a car once they get to work we have pool cars available – many of our staff do walk or take the bus to work.”

And at the county the money raised pays for the free bus around the town centre which stops outside the council offices.

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It also has a green travel scheme offering staff the chance to buy half-price bus or rail season tickets.

Both councils also have secure cycle storage – a practice that is becoming increasingly common at offices across the town centre.

Suzanne Thomas, director at Thomas’s Cycle Revolution in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, said: “We really support the Ipswich Star’s Ditch the Car campaign and wanted to get behind such a good idea.

“When we discovered the Green Commute Initiative aimed at getting commuters out of their cars and on to cleaner forms of transport like e-bikes, we knew we wanted to be involved.”

Her colleague Sam Clougherty showed off one of the e-bikes that can attract the subsidy for commuters.

The Green Commute Initiative gives people the chance to buy subsidised e-bikes that are electrically-assisted through schemes set up with their employers. These cycles are ridden normally – but give assistance when needed, especially on hills. Details of the scheme can be found at greencommuteinitiative.uk