Mind your business

Businesses across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset are being asked for their views on the changing work patterns of their employees to help gauge future transport needs in the region.  

The West of England Combined Authority has commissioned independent research into how employers plan to use their workplaces as Covid-19 restrictions ease. The information provided will help predict how city and town centres might recover, and likely commuting patterns. This will help the Combined Authority, as regional transport authority, to forward plan public transport to meet future demand. 

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “During the pandemic working from home has become the norm for many people. Our roads became quieter as fewer people drove or used buses and trains to get to workplaces. As lockdown has eased it is important that we get a clearer picture of how workers and businesses plan to operate in the future. Has there been a permanent shift to more home working? Have commuting times changed? Will people be in the office part-time? The information gathered will in turn will help us plan future transport provision, including investment in cycle lanes, safe walking routes, and better public transport. Plus a permanent change away from a daily commute by car is good news for the environment.” 

A cross-section of employers from across the region will be asked to take part in the survey over the phone, but businesses also have the opportunity to take part online by clicking on this link

Survey questions will include:  

·       Number of staff 

·       How many travelled into work before the pandemic? 

·       Estimates of how many will travel in during the next three, six and twelve months 

·       The forms of transport employees are likely to use 

·       How workspaces have changed, for example the introduction of co-working/shared workspaces? 

·       Are staff encouraged to use sustainable modes of transport such as walking, cycling or public transport? 

·       For retailers and the hospitality industry, how they expect footfall to develop in their areas 

The survey is being carried out by independent research agency Marketing Means. It is open until 7 July 2021 and the results of the survey will be available in early July. A summary of the results will be published on the Combined Authority’s website, and the findings will be used in the development of the region’s Bus Service Improvement Plan in the autumn.