Blog Post

Travel Survey 2018 Results

The results of the 2018 University Travel Survey are now in

A massive thank you to everyone who took part back in January (832 staff and 734 students). You've provided some excellent feedback that we will use to update our Travel Plan Action Plan (to be published in October).

A brief summary of the findings is provided in this blog - please see the full results in our Travel Survey 2018 results report (includes a 3 page summary), and our Travel Plan and Monitoring page for further details.

The all important prize draw winners

  • The student entries prize draw was won by Raagulan Umashanker a first year student of English Literature.
  • The staff entries prize draw was won by Tom Woolmer in Global Recruitment and Admissions at London Road.

They each won an iPad. Congratulations and thanks for taking part 🙂

How do staff and students travel to the University?

The overall (combined staff and student) modal split for commutes to the University in 2018 is shown below.

The majority of commutes to the University are on foot, with single occupant vehicle the second most used option. Our Travel Plan aims to reduce the proportion of travel to the campus in single occupant vehicle, and the current rate of 15.2% has met our Travel Plan target of 17%, however this is largely due to improvements to our calculation methods, so we need to revisit these targets ahead of the 2022 deadline. Individual staff and student SOV rates have seen less of a reduction and in fact staff rates have increased slightly since 2016 (by 2%).

Key issues raised

Staff and students raised a number of issues and suggestions of what would improve your travel to the University and make it easier for you to choose sustainable modes of travel. Some of the key issues raised include:

  • Shared routes / paths on campus - Complaints about the path between Friends Bridge and Agriculture have substantially reduced since it was widened. The route with the most issues reported (other than the Quads) was Hopkins to Friends Bridge which has since been widened at Easter 2018. The areas with next priority include Queen’s Drive; the route from RUSU to Black Bridge; and routes to the Halls.
  • Off campus routes and pedestrian crossings – Concerns over lack of pedestrians crossings outside campus entrances including at Pepper Lane; Christchurch Green and Whiteknights Road.
  • Showers and changing facilities – availability and quality of showers and changing facilities on campus is a key concern to cyclists in particular. Locations cited without a nearby shower included: Russell Building; Polly Vacher and JJT.
  • Lockers – requests for lockers for a range of purposes were received including from students for cycle helmets; and shower users for shower equipment. The feedback received in the travel survey has fed into a separate student led project looking at installing lockers on campus.
  • Working from home – is a frequently used occasional ‘mode’ by many University staff. The most popular reasons for working from home were work related such as finding quiet to concentrate. The ease of working from home in terms of both culture and perception of IT facilities seems to vary greatly across the University.
  • Bus route 21/21a - complaints of peak time bus overcrowding and out of term time bus frequency.
  • Bus route 19/9/12 – changes to this route mean that for many staff or students working at Earley Gate there is no longer a bus that allows them to reach work for 9am.
  • Car sharing – poor awareness of initiatives supporting car sharing, and requests for improved information.
  • Car club - poor awareness of the Co-wheels car club car, and requests for improved information.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging - good awareness of the electric charging points available on campus with requests for additional points in other locations. Usage levels of our existing points are not sufficient to justify the substantial costs involved at this time.
  • Travel information online - poor awareness of some of the travel offers for staff and students, including the web pages that summarise it.

Conclusion / Actions to consider

Your feedback in the 2018 Travel Survey provides a clear indication of some priorities to consider when reviewing our Travel Plan Action Plan. Some of the key activities identified from the survey that would benefit staff and students, and our progress towards our Travel Plan targets, include:

  • Review of the SOV targets in the light of improved methods of calculation.
  • Promotion and advertising of the Co-wheels car club.
  • A review of the provision and promotion of the car sharing initiatives available.
  • Define and agree a standard specification for shower/changing/storage provision for any major building developments on campus. A review of existing shower and changing facilities on campus.
  • A continuation of the campus routes programme widening shared paths.
  • Feedback to local councils relating pedestrian crossings and routes around campus, with a specific focus on a Pepper Lane crossing.
  • Feedback to Reading Buses the issues being experienced by peak time and out of term time travellers; as well as those who previously used route 19.
  • Contribution of the information on working from home to the University wide review of flexible working practises.
  • Improved promotion of the available travel offers via improved webpages and promotion of those pages (travel for staff and travel offers for students), particularly to new staff and students.

For the full report, including a more detailed 3 page summary, please see here: Travel Survey 2018 results report.  For more detail of our University Travel Plan see here.

If you have any additional feedback / suggestions / questions / requests do let us know by emailing

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