Green travel

If you have any queries or would like further information about the objectives of the University Travel Plan then please contact the sustainability team on

For daily commuting, 60% of staff and 81% of non-halls students travel sustainably to University by bike, foot or public transport (taken from 2019 survey).

Our commitment

We're minimising the environmental impact from transport associated with the University. How? Through the promotion of sustainable travel options for staff, students and our suppliers. Plus, more use of video conferencing and other technology enabled solutions to facilitate virtual meetings.

We will:

  • encourage staff and student commuting by walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing
  • promote incentives to reduce the proportion of single occupancy car drivers for staff and students not living in University accommodation
  • monitor and review business travel annually
  • work to reduce the need for business travel through video conferencing and other smarter working practices
  • reduce average business travel to below 0.28gCO2e per mile by 2020 against a baseline of 0.31gCO2e per mile
  • monitor student and staff commuting emissions compared to a 2018-19 baseline of 609 KgCO2e per staff member, and 192 KgCO2e per student
  • consider the use of electric vehicles for the campus support fleet.

Our performance:

  • In 2018-19, 60% of staff and 81% of students travelled sustainably to campus (by walking, cycling or public transport).
  • 23% of staff and 48% of students commuted by walking in 2018-19, a 2% increase and 1% decrease retrospectively from 2017-18. The decrease in students walking is likely due to the increase in students using public transport.
  • In 2018-19 average KgCO2e per staff member for commuting decreased by 3% from the year before and student commuting decreased by 6.5%.
  • Total kgCO2e for business travel has been decreasing since 2014-15 levels and reached its lowest in 2017-18.
  • In 2019 we installed six 22kw electric vehicle charge points in four of our main sites for staff, student and visitor use, aiming to support the transition to electric vehicles for staff and students. 

Travel information

For information on how you can access travel schemes supported by the University, please see our Green Travel pages on the intranet (log-in required), and also our University Travel Plan is available on our policies page. Contact information for the University Bicycle User Group is also on these pages.

How we're promoting green travel

Since our main campus is located within the city centre and we have a student and staff population of over 21,500, travel and transport is an important issue – one that has the potential to impact the local residential community. We have targets to reduce the proportion of staff and students driving to university, increasing the proportion that cycles, walks and uses public transport. We support this with a strict parking policy on campus to fit with the city centre location. 
Cycling is a big success for us; 5% of our staff commute to University by bike, beating the UK average of 2.8% per cent of employee cyclists – very impressive given the Devon hills. To support cycling we offer 318 bicycle parking spaces across campus, which is an increase of 132 spaces since 2007. We offer the cycle to work scheme for access to new bikes and equipment as well as providing lockers for rent. We also have a Bicycle User Group (BUG), which is run by volunteering staff members to promote and campaign for cycling facilities on behalf of the staff.
We run regular cycling campaigns on campus for staff and students, including bike doctor workshops, led rides, cycle maintenance courses and the sale of second hand bikes. Throughout the year we promote free workshops offered in the city by Bike Space, as well as running cycling events. Keep an eye on the university's What's Onpage. We also offer lockers for cyclists and access to showers within the gym for a small fee for the year, contact Recreation for more details.
In 2013, we opened the University of Plymouth Car Share group to students and staff through This helps provide a more trusted lift share group with more participants. It's easy to use: register as a user, mark University of Plymouth as your employer and then you can register your journey within the staff and student community to find a lift share. Registered car share drivers are given preferential treatment for car parking spaces over single occupancy car drivers on campus.
Ride Social
Ride Social is an initiative by British Cycling to provide a social cycling networking site, where you can find local rides and create and share routes. To find out more and get involved visit the Let’s Ride website.

Plymouth E-Bike Scheme Living Lab pilot

The University is working with Plymouth City Council and their e-bike partner Beryl as part of their project which introduces more sustainable and accessible transport options to the city. 
The University will host a pilot site with 8 e-bikes on the campus, located at the Sustainability Hub (Low Carbon Devon). We will be recruiting 50 staff and students to take part in a trial where you will get free access to an e-bike for use in the city.
About the project
Plymouth City Council is working on a scheme to encourage more sustainable travel and improve access in the city incorporating electric vehicle charging points, a car club share scheme and e-bikes. One of the elements is the e-bike scheme where citizens can rent an e-bike by the minute for travel around the city. 
The project, which will go live in Spring 2023, will deliver multi-modal Mobility Hubs across Plymouth for business and the public, delivering significant carbon reductions, improved connectivity, business benefits and a sustainable, future-proofed shared transportation system. 
Find out more information on the Plymouth E-Bike Scheme Living Lab pilot