Having led on the development of its Travel Plan Strategy over some ten years, in February 2020 Director, Georgina Stares, took on a part-time secondment role to the University of York, acting as a consultant Project Manager. Initially the role was to provide hands-on support to the University to prepare the next iteration of its Travel Plan, including playing an instrumental role in the University’s new ‘Sustainable Transport Strategy Group’, sitting within the Estates Directorate.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the role quickly altered, with Georgina adapting to support the University to understand and, importantly, quantify the likely challenges faced by the University as staff and students begin to return to Campus. This has included the use of recent travel survey data and car park permit data to assess the likely uplift in demand for staff and students travelling to Campus by car as a consequence of restrictions on public transport and car sharing (and how it might best address this through a change in car parking permit entitlement). It has also considered what might be appropriate with regard to enhanced cycle infrastructure and support measures to cater for more staff and students walking and cycling to Campus, culminating in a COVID-19 action plan, to be delivered over the next 12 – 18 months.
Georgina says ‘the role at York has been a great opportunity to provide practical support and advice at a time when there are lots of unknowns around travel and transport. Being able to quantify the potential impacts of COVID-19 and then identify ways to mitigate and manage that impact has been really rewarding.’