Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Graham Hurdle's blog: 1 April 2014 - Cut your mileage, reap the benefits
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Graham Hurdle's blog: 1 April 2014 - Cut your mileage, reap the benefits

Date: 01 April 2014

Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World

We all need to get from A to B quickly and safely.

Yet often, without thinking, most of us get in the car without considering alternatives.

You plan for the meeting you're going to, but don't plan the best mode of transport to get there.

So, at a time when congestion has increased in London, and with an improving economy expected to result in busier roads, is now also the time for us to encourage our field-based staff to look more broadly at their business travel?

We've used web-based conference calls with file and screen sharing extremely effectively in the last year or so.

While our greatest fear was that clients and prospects would rather have a face-to-face meeting, the reality is that we never refuse anyone a meeting in person if it's requested, and our approach hasn't had any detrimental impact on our business performance.

In fact, for quick catch up meetings, most busy people appreciate the ease and speed of a conference call.

We only use the train when travelling into London and have increased our use of rail travel for other destinations too - not only avoiding the traffic, but also making us far more productive by working on the train.

And like many drivers who bemoan being stuck in traffic at all the usual congestion hotspots, as well as those jams that take us by surprise, we're also beginning to be far more challenging about our use of our cars - unless of course we're carrying equipment or heavy bags that would make public transport more difficult.

The upshot is, by using your car less there are several advantages. You spend less time stuck in traffic. You save money on fuel (albeit you are paying for your trains and taxis).

Reduced mileage on your vehicles means lower contract hire rentals or better future resale values (if you own your company cars).

Drivers are less stressed. And, very importantly, if you're not on the road, you can't have an accident.

I'm not suggesting it's easy or always straightforward to ditch the car and take the train. But I am completely convinced that companies could be doing more.

And by using a carrot and stick approach, many could drive down their drivers' time on the road and in doing so improve productivity and reduce accidents.

Maybe its worth setting a target for all departments and teams that use company vehicles to reduce their mileage by 20% this year and ask them to come back with suggestions as to how they can do it.