The University surveys all staff and students on their commuting habits every two years. All staff are encouraged to complete the 2022 survey. As an added incentive, you can choose to provide your email and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Edinburgh gift card, which can be spent at local shops and restaurants. The deadline for completing the survey is 22 April.
The data this survey gathers is vital. Knowing how staff and students are commuting directly shapes the policies and support provided for sustainable travel choices. It also helps the University to track our progress towards our goal of becoming net zero carbon by 2040, and forms part of the data we are required to send to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Improving our options
This survey was last conducted in 2019, and revealed some interesting insights. For example, the percentage of staff travelling to work by car fell to a record low of only 22 per cent, down from 40 per cent in 2004. The most popular forms of transport are buses and walking, which are both used by just over a quarter of staff. The biggest campus for cycling is King’s Buildings, where 22 per cent of staff commute by bike. Over a third of staff travel three miles or less to work, and the median distance travelled is four and a half miles.
The data has also been instrumental in securing funding for improvements to facilities across the Estate. The Transport Office has been able to identify areas of the University with the biggest demand for more bike stores. This analysis was used to secure internal funding as well as grants from Cycling Scotland to deliver new bike stores for Minto House, Faraday Building, Grant Institute, the Roslin Institute, and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. Work will soon start on additional new bike stores in the Central Area and King’s Buildings, which have also been enabled by grant applications made using data from the 2019 survey.