378Options for transport reduction
- Jul 31, 2004This editorial draws attention to another sector, which would benefit
from a better land use policy and could support LVT. It originates from UK
communications company BT and several UK-based LandCafe clients will
know how to involve their decision makers.
UK Transport Strategy: A missed opportunity
The priorities signalled in the UK Government's new Transport Strategy
are a huge disappointment for all those organisations which believe that
harnessing the huge potential of ICT to reduce business-related travel
should be one of the cornerstones of any coherent policy.
SustainIT believes that well managed use of ICT, in areas where there is
empirical evidence of its transport benefits, such as telework and
audio/video conferencing, should be encouraged where possible to reduce
the demand for transport, particularly at peak times. Recent research
commissioned by the DfT claimed that telework could cut car commute
traffic by up to 6% by 2015, saving 6bn vehicle miles per year - that roughly
relates to over 2bn kg of CO2.
SustainIT's pan-European SusTel project (www.sustel.org) - on the
sustainability dimensions of telework - found that, across its 6 surveys
of organisational telework schemes, the mean estimated reduction in weekly
commuting was 174km. The research suggests that, amongst the surveyed
organisations, teleworking is significantly reducing non-business
travel, even when short-term offsetting or rebound effects are taken into
Although telework may well continue to grow irrespective of policy
intervention, there is a strong demand, particularly in the large
operational industry sector, which currently is not being satisfied.
This latent demand needs to be encouraged so that the real potential of
telework to reduce travel and related emissions can be realised.
Finally, more research is required in other areas where ICT can have a
potential positive impact, but where empirical evidence is lacking, such
as e-commerce and home shopping. If you have any views, mail them to us at