Urban congestion has an increasingly large and negative effect on our towns and cities. Whether this be in terms of health, wealth or general quality of life, actions need to be taken to halt this trend.
In the UK, the Confederation of British Industry has estimated that congestion is costing businesses nearly €24bn every year in terms of lost productivity alone. When added to the amount of sick days lost through ill health that could be treated by a healthier lifestyle, the journey to work plays a key part in the economic prosperity of our cities.
This economic impact is a key driver to engage businesses in the uptake of Mobility Plans.
The COMMERCE Projects' main objective was to increase the number and improve the quality of Mobility Plans that are developed by small and medium sized companies by providing tools and standards based on best practice across Europe. Mobility Plans are also known as Travel Plans and their development is a clear way of reducing commuter's CO2 emissions.
London and Paris, the two 'Leader' cities of the project, had extensive experience in Mobility Plans and provided mentoring and exchanges of expertise for the four 'learner' cities: Bucharest, Budapest, Kaunas and Plovdiv.
EPOMM, the European Platform on Mobility Management, provided technical support for the project, bringing in best practices from across the EU to develop a guidance document for Mobility Plans. Mobility forums were also developed in each city bringing together the municipality and local businesses. Local city action plans were also produced, using the COMMERCE guide and standards.
An online web-based forum provided a platform for sharing knowledge and experience. The European Platform On Workplace Travel plans (EPOWT), is hosted by EPOMM and is open to all EU municipalities and Small and Medium Enterprises.
COMMERCE recognised best practices in Mobility Planning by running the Pan-European Workplace Travel plan Awards (PEWTA). The awards ran in conjunction with the International Transport Forum in 2008.
COMMERCE has increased the number and improved the quality of Workplace Travel Plan Standards by delivering:
- Pan-EU Workplace Travel Plan Standards
- A platform with Travel Plan Best Practice
- Travel Plan Training
- Travel Plan Awards
- Travel Plan Forums