Green travel

We are currently in the process of reviewing past travel targets as well as constructing a new travel plan, which will incorporate staff and student commuting, and business travel. Stay posted for the Plymouth University Travel Plan 2017.

For daily commuting, 55 per cent of staff and 81 per cent of non-halls students travel sustainably to University by bike, foot or public transport.

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:

  • Increase the number of staff commuting by walking, cycling and car sharing by two per cent each by 2017 for staff, and one per cent for students not living in University accommodation.
  • Reduce the proportion of single occupancy car drivers by seven per cent by 2017 for staff, and by three per cent for students not living in University accommodation. 
  • Increase the use of public transport by three per cent by 2017 for staff, and by two per cent for students not living in University accommodation.
  • Increase the use of video/telephone conferencing by three per cent by 2017, to reduce business travel.

Our performance:

  • The proportion of staff and students walking to university has decreased over the last year, to 19 per cent and 50 per cent respectively, but we are on track to achieve our targets
  • The proportion of staff cycling to university has decreased over the last year to five per cent, student cyclists have remained at three per cent, however this is achieving our 2017 targets 
  • The proportion of staff taking public transport to university has decreased by one per cent this year to 31 per cent, students taking public transport has increased by four per cent to 28 per cent
  • The proportion of staff and students taking the car to university has increased 29 per cent and 12 per cent. The staff proportion still has to reduce by 7.5 per cent to reach our 2017 target, but the student rate it is currently on target
  • We've increased bike racks to 318 spaces in 2014–15, up from 282 the previous year

Travel information

For information on how you can access travel schemes supported by the University, as well as get in touch with our Bicycle User Group - please see the Green Travel pages on the intranet.

How we're promoting green travel

Since our main campus is located in the city centre, and we have a student and staff population of nearly 30,000, travel and transport is an important issue - one that impacts 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; five per cent of our staff commute to university by bike, beating the UK average of 2.8 per cent per cent of employee cyclists - very impressive given the Devon hills. To support cycling we offer 318 bicycle parking spaces on campus, which is an increase of 132 spaces since 2007. We offer the cycle to work scheme for access to new bikes and provide 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.


Recreation 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. For more information on led rides, visit the UPSU MGA Social pages. 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 Events page. 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 Plymouth University Car Share group to students and staff through www.carsharedevon.com. This helps provide a more trusted lift share group with more participants. It's easy to use: register as a user; mark Plymouth University 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 with UPSU

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. In conjunction with UPSU, the Motivate Generate Activate project has trained ten people to become ride leaders, so they can lead rides for students and engage more students in cycling across the city. 

To find out more and get involved visit the website: www.ridesocialplymouthuni.co.uk/.