Our team first worked with Queen’s back in 2015, undertaking a staff and student travel survey to inform the development of a 5-year Travel Plan Strategy. Since then we have gone on to undertake follow up surveys in 2018 and 2020 – with the latest survey having been undertaken just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognising that travel patterns are likely to change significantly amongst staff and students as a consequence of COVID, both immediately and in the longer term, we have used the data captured to help the University plan for the challenges it faces around transport – be it increased demand for car parking (both on Campus and in the surrounding area) or an uplift in the number of people walking and cycling.
An extensive modelling exercise has been undertaken to consider how the capacity of public transport services and the current advice on car sharing might impact on how people travel and how this could change over time, reflecting a phased return to work / study. The modelling also considers the impact of an increased proportion of students being from the local area (and thus continuing to live in their family / parental home) and is to be used by the University’s Estates Team to provide justification for capital expenditure (on things like additional cycle parking) and to advise on future car park management options.
Director, Georgina Stares, who has worked with Queen’s over the past 5 years, says ‘We’ve built a great relationship with the University’s Travel Plan Coordinator, meaning our role has evolved from delivering an initial travel survey programme to more bespoke support, including that currently being delivered in the wake of COVID-19. It’s also great to be able to draw on the expertise of the wider team in the Higher Education sector.