Atomic Weapons Establishment Travel Plan Implementation

With sustainability at its core, the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has committed to managing the demand for travel at its operational research facilities. For many years, we have advised how this could be appropriately managed through the implementation of a Travel Plan, focused on reducing single occupancy vehicle travel to and from their sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield in West Berkshire.

Through this Travel Plan, which we developed in collaboration with numerous departments all the way up to the Executive Board, AWE has been able to reduce carbon emissions for employee travel, while allowing for operational efficiencies through better control of access to their sites and management of car parking.

As a ‘live’ plan, we are continually reviewing and adjusting the Travel Plan in response to its outcomes, through regular surveys and staff consultation; assessing the environmental impact and commercial considerations to ensure resources are targeted to the most effective initiatives.

Key details

Project name

Atomic Weapons Establishment Travel Plan Implementation

 

Client

Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)

Location

West Berkshire

 

Services provided

- Travel Plan Implementation

Challenge

The success of a Travel Plan is dependent on a number of factors, not least in securing the level of engagement with the targeted audience. This has been no different at AWE. Their sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield accommodate approximately 10,000 people generating thousands of vehicle movements on a daily basis. 

The volume of employee car movements creates pressure on the surrounding highway network, the access gates and car parks. It also substantially contributes to AWE’s carbon emissions, which it has committed to reducing. 

The sensitivity of the sites being surveyed means that a careful approach was required when carrying out baseline surveys. This challenge has been compounded with the stringent security procedures that operate at both sites and the relatively isolated location of the sites.

Prior to the implementation of the plan, the operation of both sites was characterised by a dominance of car movements and the number of limited secured accesses created natural pinch points. 

Taken together, the scale of the challenges faced were significant in ensuring that meaningful changes in travel behaviours could take place without significantly affecting AWE’s operations.

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Solution

Through an understanding of its objectives and vision, we have been able to set-out an overall strategy for tackling employee movements. This involved identifying what would offer the best prospects for change.

We assisted AWE to implement a range of carefully tailored Travel Plan initiatives, using a mixture of control measures as well as benefits to encourage more sustainable forms of travel. 

Recognising the central role that employees would play in this, we helped to organise a comprehensive marketing campaign. Focus groups and exhibitions provided the opportunity for staff feedback on the initiatives and where necessary, this led to refining the initiatives accordingly.

Given the characteristics of the sites and the employee catchment, we identified that one important contributor to the Travel Plan would be car sharing. Our recommendation was that benefits could be gained from engaging with staff on the environmental and economic advantages of car sharing through a targeted marketing campaign.  While other modes of transport also featured in the Travel Plan, the emphasis on reducing the number of single occupancy vehicle trips was judged to be an important first step in addressing the long-standing nature of this mode of travel by employees.

The introduction and enforcement of car parking restrictions has contributed to regularising the use of onsite car parks, meaning staff are assigned defined areas for parking. 

Business travel in the course of employment has also been addressed by limiting the need for staff to travel for meetings, and where this is required, additional incentives were also considered. Where travel between the two sites is concerned, we assisted with the implementation of inter / intra-site shuttle buses as well as cycling and walking initiatives.  We have also assisted AWE to rationalise building usage and car parking provision to minimise internal travel within the sites, as part of a wider estate rationalisation exercise.

To measure the success of the plan, we have mobilised, supervised and analysed over 20 travel surveys to track progress against the initiatives being used to determine ways in which the Travel Plan could be enhanced while continuing to offer value for money.

 

1,245
estimated tonnes of carbon reduced per annum
£700,000
per annum in fuel savings as a result of the car sharing scheme
1/5
staff car sharing achieved
800
parking spaces no longer required after the car sharing scheme
20
travel surveys conducted and analysed

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