Taking the ethical route
It’s a telling statistic that most passenger journeys are made by car.
According to Government figures, 64% of all trips, whether commuting or leisure, involve the use of a car – 78% of the total distance travelled. More people travel by car simply because the alternatives are too expensive or non-existent – adding to pollution, stress and congestion.
The Campaign for Better Transport was established 45 years ago to promote better public transport and a reduction in new road building. Despite the massive increase in car ownership since then, the organisation can boast a number of successes, most recently helping save the Bus Service Operator’s Grant, which was relied upon by companies running vital local bus services connecting rural areas; routes which would otherwise be financially nonviable.
The Campaign’s communications officer, Jess Fitch, explains that there is still a long way to go to achieve greener, more environmentally friendly and socially equitable public transport in the UK.
“Austerity cuts have had a big impact on funding for public transport, which in turn affects the ability of people to travel and contribute to society,” she says.
“The Campaign for Better Transport focuses on three main areas: saving bus services, which are relied on by millions of people, especially the young and elderly; making rail travel cheaper, simpler and less overcrowded; and reducing expensive and unnecessary construction of new roads.
“We lobby national and local government to change policy, but we also help local groups campaign against public transport cuts or road building plans in their area, with support in person, online and on the phone.
“For example, we helped community groups in Newcastle Upon Tyne campaign against a massive new motorway style junction on the Town Moor to the north of the city. The council responded to a petition and protest march and the plans were subsequently dropped.”
The Campaign for Better Transport is based in London and has twelve permanent staff members, some of whom work from home. With phone and broadband services from The Phone Co-op, meetings regularly involve teleconferencing for some team members.
“Being able to join in with meetings without having to travel to the office not only saves us time and means we can all join in, but also helps us ‘live our values’ as an organisation committed to more sensible transport policies,” adds Jess.
“Operating ethically is very important to us and is one of the key reasons we choose to work with The Phone Co-op. We’re committed to supporting like-minded organisations and we respect and share co-operative values.”