Easit discount scheme terminated by GWR

Disappointing news from Great Western Railway (GWR) who has announced that they will no longer be offering 15% rail discounts to EasitNETWORK members for travel into Reading.   The company has agreed that it will honour discounts on any tickets and season tickets bought before 31 March 2020 by holders of a valid Easit card.  The University will remain a member of Easit, which will enable users who have bought a ticket or season ticket before that date to continue to use them until they expire.   We are extremely disappointed by this move and have written to GWR’s Managing Director to express these concerns.  We would encourage those affected to do the same.   Please see full details in the following letter from Easit GWR Letter to contacts    Sustainability Services...
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Saving energy, saving the planet!

If you’re living in private rented accommodation this year, you may well find yourself paying for gas, electricity and water bills for the first time. This can eat into your finances, so here are some tips to keep your costs down:   Saving energy Landlords are only legally allowed to rent out buildings which achieve at least an ‘E’ rating Energy Performance Certificate (A being most efficient, G being least efficient). Ask your landlord for a copy of the EPC to check they are complying. Switch off! The easiest and most obvious way to save energy is by not leaving stuff on you aren’t using – whether that’s lights, TV, computers or chargers – it’s the simplest way of saving money. And nag your housemates to do the same! Control your heating! Turning your heating down 1˚C can save 8% on your energy usage. Understand how your heating is controlled and agree with your housemates when the heating needs to run. It...
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Sustainable university living

I’ve escaped from my desk to come and sit in Park Eat café/bar to write this article. Immediately I arrive, I’m confronted with an environmental dilemma. I’ve brought my Sustain It mug (of course!) for a cup of tea, but realise I can’t get any milk out of the machine because my cup isn’t chipped. The catering staff offer to put some milk in a paper cup. I insist I don’t want a paper cup and they insist it’s no bother. How should I respond? Back down politely and take the cup, or stick to my green guns and insist it’s a waste of resources and I’d rather have no milk? I decide to politely explain I don’t want to take a disposable cup, she understands and helpful gets me a china cup to put the milk in instead. An insignificant story, and the kind of decision we each make multiple times a day. My point though is this – each decision...
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Travel in May

Looking to travel more sustainably this month? This is what you have got to look forward to: On Your Bike Day We held our first bike event this term with Dr Bike, Reading Bike Kitchen and UniCycle. We sold 10 second-hand bikes and over 40 staff and students visit Dr Bike for a free Bike check.Our next scheduled Dr Bike is the 22nd May - come along and get your free bike check!   Free Cycle Skills Sessions every Wednesday! Whatever level of cyclist you are, we have cycle courses to improve your cycling 2-3pm "Back on Bikes" for those needing practice with gears, signalling etc. and will stay on paths & roads within campus, 3.30-5pm "Bike Commuting Skills" covering more advanced skills & Highway Codes for cycling with traffic. See the cycle skills programme for details or email k.robertson@reading.ac.uk to book a place. All sessions start with bike set up and key safety checks.   Do you need a car? Campaign We're launching a new campaign to reduce single occupancy vehicles by encouraging the great travel...
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Do you really need a car?

The University is committed to increasing the uptake of more sustainable travel methods to and from campus. There are many great reasons for you to not bring a car, including all the great travel offers. As a University of Reading staff or student, you don’t need a car in Reading because: Bus routes 21/21a operate every 7 mins and serves both Whiteknights and London Road campuses Cycle hire and lessons. Improve your confidence and skills at free weekly cycle skills sessions. Cycle maintenance tools (including pumps) are available from the Chaplaincy and Security from Whiteknights campus. Excellent trains, including season ticket loans and discounts available for staff Car club hire on campus. Hire a car by the hour with Co-wheels Walking distance in to town Get fit cycling and walking But sometimes it’s not possible: “I live far away - I can’t walk to work!” We aim to make sustainable travel the default option, but we do understand that this is not always possible....
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Creating skilled cyclists

Creating skilled cyclists The 2018-19 academic year has seen a huge boost in participation in our programme of cycle skills sessions and events. These are aimed at helping University cyclists keep themselves and other safe while cycling on and off campus. Over 200 participant-sessions have been run since August 2018, with over 70 individuals now trained in safe road cycle skills. Some of these were complete beginners or hadn’t been on a bike since childhood and were offered support including use of loan bike and helmets along with additional sessions if needed to get skills and confidence up to cycling on roads;  while others just needed one or two to learn/ brush up on the UK highway code and pick up tips for more efficient cycling / basic bike safety checks.   A range of Nationalities have taken part which highlighted some interesting differences in cycling rules across countries: Did you know that Canadian Cyclists signal right by using their left arm bent up...
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Going green in 2019

As 2019 begins, we take a look at our plans for delivering environmental sustainability at the University this coming year. Where we are 2018 was our most successful year yet sustainability-wise, with major reductions in waste production and water consumption and increases in sustainable travel levels. For an interactive look back, view our Annual Sustainability Report. Where we’re going Continuous improvement is a key part of strong environmental management, and 2019 promises to be no exception. Energy hack We are developing plans for our first ever ‘Energy Hack’, building on the success of previous Blackout events to reduce energy consumption in our buildings. We will be focussing on a number of buildings across the estate, engaging students and staff to work with us to improve the efficiency of their study and work environments, and have some fun along the way! Solar expansion Following a doubling of our solar panel installations in 2018, we plan yet more installations, at our Thames Valley Science Park, London Road campus and the Museum...
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A kitchen for bicycles?

A kitchen for bicycles? Have you ever been passing by Palmer building on and seen people tinkering around with bikes / workstands and tools ?? Or had a puncture / faulty brakes and left your bike languishing in the shed as no time / money to take it to a Cycle shop??!? Come and take part in one of the RBK Pop ups! Taking place as part of the overall University Cycle Safety programme (which aims to support all aspects of cycling) these FREE bike maintenance sessions are held fortnightly usually on Weds 4-7pm Run by experienced bike mechanics and volunteers from the Reading Bicycle Kitchen (RBK**) the sessions enable you to learn how to fix your bike! From flat tyres, faulty brakes to more complex gear adjustment and cable re-fit they generally have the tools and parts to help you get you back on the road. RBK will also safety check your bike (in similar way to Dr Bike) and advise on other repairs that are...
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Cycle Light Up 2018

You may have seen us dotted around campus some evenings over the last few weeks (since the clocks changed) lit up like Christmas Trees. No we haven't been celebrating Christmas early, rather we've been out with a more serious message of encouraging cyclists to use lights! It's really important that cyclists use lights whether on or off campus. On the shared paths on campus, pedestrians and other cyclists can't see you without lights, so you're risking hitting them, or at least making everyone's journey uncomfortable with near misses. For your own safety when cycling on roads so that drivers can see you to avoid you It's a legal requirement in the UK and you could get a £50 fine. Our main light up event was on Thursday 15 November as part of the Green Festival where we managed to cover most of central Whiteknights campus. We were actually pleasantly surprised by the amount of cyclists who already had lights. Keep up the great work. If you...
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Get On Your Bike event October 2018

*Due to popular demand Recycle Your Cycle will be back selling second hand bikes on Wednesday 24th October, 12:00 - 14:00 in the quad outside RUSU* We will also have lights and locks and a visit from Dr Bike. 12 – 2pm  More bikes available to Buy or Hire Second hand bike sale with ReCycle Your Cycle. UniCycle Hire Bikes from £10 / term run by RUSU. Bike Security Labelling, Locks and Lights for sale. And lots of information on support for cycling on and off campus. 11 – 3pm Dr Bike* (Please note we’ve moved his visit from Thursday 25th to coincide with the sale).: come along for a FREE cycle safety check. 2-6pm Cycle Training: See the cycle skills programme for details or email k.robertson@reading.ac.uk to book a place.   **Cyclists – don’t forget the clock’s go back this weekend so you’re more likely to be going home in the dark from next week. You will need lights for cycling on and off campus. If you can’t make...
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