Sustainable Travel Plan 2021-2025

Vision of the plan

The Sustainable Travel Plan (2021-2025) is designed to improve the institution's travel behaviours, reduce the need for travel, and encourage staff, students and visitors to choose more sustainable travel modes.

The plan aims to encourage more active, healthy and environmentally friendly decisions when making travel and transport choices. It also seeks to assist the surrounding communities, local authorities and the global impact by reducing traffic congestion and the associated harmful effects on the environment from single car usage and higher carbon-emitting modes of travel.

It is this environmental awareness that intrinsically links the Sustainable Travel Plan to the University’s Environment and Sustainability Policy, in line with the University’s commitment to continual environmental improvement.

The University’s vision is to incentivise and encourage sustainable travel wherever possible, through providing facilities for walking and cycling, improving the way we utilise public transport links by working through partnerships with local authorities and businesses, and encouraging remote and digital methods of working.

  • Lowering the University’s carbon emissions in line with the Sustainable and Environmental Policy
  • Mitigating traffic and congestion issues in the Derby Campus area which is facing significant challenges during the A38 construction works
  • Improving the transport links and methods available so that visiting the University is easier overall
  • Promoting and increasing the health, fitness and wellbeing of students and staff by encouraging active travel
  • The Sustainable Travel Plan will support all future property-development projects and assist in their design for planning applications
  • Opportunities to reduce travel costs to both the individual and the University
  • Raise awareness of sustainable travel and the harmful impact of high-carbon travel
  • Support of technological advances such as the adoption of ultra-low-emission vehicles and electric-vehicle charging
  • Reduce your harmful impact on the environment by choosing more sustainable modes of travel, locally, nationally, and globally
  • Improve your personal health and wellbeing by using more active modes of travel
  • Reduce your personal travel and commuting costs
  • Support your University in achieving its strategic environmental goals
  • Reduce costs for your department and the University as a whole


The Sustainable Integrated Travel Plan relates to the Derby and Buxton University campuses, our St Helena site at Chesterfield, owned residence buildings, and new property developments.

Our Derby Campus is situated within two miles of the city centre and exposed to significant road traffic, which can impact on the efficiency of car and bus travel in the area. The teaching and residence sites within the Derby Campus are all within walking and cycling distance and there is opportunity to develop an active campus.

The largest teaching site, Kedleston Road, also has the most significant demand on travel with a dedicated Unibus service connecting the site with other Derby Campus sites, halls of residences, the city centre, Derby bus station and Derby train station.

The Buxton Campus, including the Leek site, is in a more remote location with more limited public transport and active travel opportunities.

  • Modes of transport related to staff and student commuter travel to and from University places of work and study
  • Business travel performed on behalf of the University, including air and train travel through partnership with our appointed Travel Management Company
  • University fleet vehicles including Estate Management service vehicles, security, pool vehicles, van and minibus provision
  • Related site travel activities including visitors, deliveries and car-park management


The key objectives of the Sustainable Travel Plan are captured here with summaries of indicative actions to achieve them. Full details of existing and future potential measures to deliver these objectives are captured within our Roadmap to 2025.

  • Key Fact: 58.3% of staff commute to work by car, 87% of which are single occupancy

High dependency on commuting to sites by car is increased by single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) commuting. At the Derby Campus, this adds to the existing traffic and congestion within the city and reduces the efficiency of public transport in the area. Increased volumes of vehicles in slow-moving traffic also significantly adds to poor air quality and the harmful effects of carbon emissions on the local and global environment.

Large volumes of cars attempting to drive to University sites also stretch the amount of parking resources, causing a shortage in parking on site and a first-come-first-served system creating unfairness in some situations.

Stretched parking resources on site subsequently lead to parking in surrounding neighbourhoods and cause distress to local communities, which are increasingly implementing resident-parking schemes operated by the local authority, ultimately leading to less opportunity for students, staff and visitors to park within close proximity to the University.

Indicative actions

  • Rather than penalising SOVs, the Sustainable Travel Plan aims to incentivise alternative modes of travel. The following objectives aim to encourage the adoption of alternative travel, achieving modal shift from car travel wherever possible
  • Combined promotion raising awareness of the harmful effect of SOVs and alternative sustainable methods supporting both the Sustainable Travel Plan and the Sustainable and Environmental Policy
  • Review car-parking eligibility and charges to manage supply and demand of car parking and enable car parking for those who require it most
  • Key Fact: 18.7% of staff and students driving to the Derby Campus do so from within a two-mile radius

The Derby Campus in particular has the most stretched resources for car parking, public transport, the most congestion within the city routes surrounding its sites and the most significant challenges facing students and staff arriving on site during peak travel times of the day.

And yet the distance between the main teaching site of Kedleston Road and the halls of residences is of a shorter distance than the furthest ends of either the Loughborough or Lancaster university campuses.

Indicative actions

  • Derby can encourage an ‘active campus’ approach to enabling students to walk and cycle wherever possible and for staff living within a two-mile radius of the sites to adopt active travel too
  • Where that travel within two miles represents a longer journey due to public transport challenges, alternatives to be incentivised and promoted through Local Transport Authority and operator collaboration
  • Promote active travel and the associated health-and-wellbeing benefits
  • Develop facilities such as creating the new cycle hub of changing facilities within the Kirtley Building, developing an encouraging community for active travellers
  • To set the ambition to improve facilities across all teaching sites, not just Kedleston Road, and to establish them in all new buildings as a preferred mode of travel
  • Work with partners to establish route planning, any equipment needed, utilising local schemes such as Dr Bike to help staff and students with maintaining bicycles
  • Incentivise students to walk and cycle through the Derby Moves app and engage students in community projects to develop safe walking routes and paths
  • Key Fact: Pre-pandemic usage of the Unibus service saw 780,000 annual trips made, costing £624,000

The existing Unibus services are stretched (pre-pandemic) resulting in difficulties for all students to use the Unibus service at peak travel times. Alternative public transport services operate in nearby areas to both the Derby and Buxton campuses, but currently do not link up with the University and its Unibus routes.

Indicative actions

  • The University is working in partnership with Derby City Council to develop the Future Mobility Zone from secured government funding. This provides a significant opportunity to bring more sustainable travel options to the Derby Campus, such as electric-car club, e-bikes and e-scooters plus the possibility of linking up with the city's proposed electric buses
  • Working with Derbyshire and Staffordshire local transport authorities to reduce duplications in transport services operated on behalf of the Buxton and Leek College. Again, working with these local authorities represents opportunities to reduce inefficient transport services
  • Ensure all public-transport opportunities use lower-carbon modes wherever possible
  • Support digitisation and technological advances in travel planning, sharing travel and route information and enabling users to make more informed decisions around travel
  • Key Fact: The University is a key partner in the De-Carbonise project and has the expertise to lead by example

In support of the Sustainable and Environmental Policy, the University can target a reduction in carbon emissions through its business travel, including fleet-vehicle usage and the volume of travel conducted via coach and minibus use.

Due to government legislation ceasing the production and sale of combustion engine cars from 2030, the shift from petrol and diesel engine vehicles is likely to increase significantly over the next five years and the University will need to prepare its fleet provision and charging infrastructure to support this change.

Indicative actions

  • Replace petrol pool cars with ultra-low-emission vehicle (ULEV) corporate-car-use scheme
  • Phased electrification of service-vehicle fleet and supporting electric-vehicle commuting through introduction of EV charging across teaching sites
  • Provide greater awareness of coach and minibus carbon emissions to help staff make informed decisions on travel and usage

To support the previous objectives, one of the primary ways to reduce SOVs and stretch on resources is to reduce the demand for travel in the first instance.

This is a strategy that can be built upon to support the key objectives within the Sustainable Travel Plan. Any actions to reduce travel are likely to assist the organisation through a challenging period over the next three-to-five years due to the A38 junctions major construction works commencing in winter 2022, which are anticipated to have major impact on travel in the surrounding areas and the city.

Indicative actions

  • Raise awareness of peak travel times
  • Reduce the need to travel between campuses and sites for business travel where digital meetings can facilitate

Implementation and governance

Estate Management will lead on the coordination of the Sustainable Travel Plan (STP) with management from the Service Delivery Manager for Travel and Transport and the Environment and Sustainability Manager.

Implementation of initiatives to support the delivery of the STP will also call upon the expertise and knowledge-sharing of academic research. Working closely with the Environmental and Sustainability team, initiatives should seek support from work such as the DE-Carbonise project and be aligned to the carbon management plan and the University’s biodiversity plan.

Surveying of travel patterns will be performed annually to assist in creating benchmark data to track the progress of the STP. The subsequent data will enable the setting of clear targets and key indicators linked back to the University Institutional Success Measures. Monitoring of the STP will also be supported by an annual report which will be tracked via the Vice Chancellor’s Executive (VCE) group to ensure progress of initiatives are aligned to the STP objectives.

Further adoption of the STP should be sought with the support of a clear communication strategy and working in collaboration with colleges and departments on research opportunities such as the decarbonisation programme.

Roadmap and indicative action plan

The roadmap for the Sustainable Travel Plan prioritises the measures currently in place, continuing and required to achieve the objectives set out. These measures take into account the level of positive impact and the difficulty in implementation.

Objective 1: Reduce single occupancy vehicle use

Measure name Purpose Started or future measure Ownership/​Lead Completion timescale
Travel Plan endorsement Gain full VCE endorsement of the STP Complete Estate Management April 2021
Embed and communicate Once endorsed, the plan needs to be embedded and aligned with University of Derby strategies through a communication strategy raising awareness and promoting sustainable travel Future Estate Management and Corporate Communications May 2021 onwards
Liftshare scheme Encourage shared car usage for those who require it Future Estate Management September 2023
Car parking review Establish permit criteria and ensure parking charges reflect the enabling of parking for those who require it most Started Estate Management Review paper submitted June 2019

Objective 2: Develop ‘active campuses’

Measure name Purpose Started or future measure Ownership/​Lead Completion timescale
Increase changing facilities at Kedleston Road Largest site for footfall with very minimal changing facilities currently. Old gym changing rooms in Kirtley building to be given branding as Cycle Hub and opened to active travel users Complete Estate Management Jan 2021
Covered cycle storage Majority of cycle spaces on teaching sites are uncovered, proposal to increase total spaces from 110 to 260 Future Estate Management 2021
Active Travel Campaign Promote walking and cycling with suitable routes publicised, support with Derby Moves app and reward active travel commuters on heavy-traffic days of the week Future Estate Management, Corporate Communications and Team Derby September 2021 onwards
Cycle to work scheme Provide tax relief via salary sacrifice to those buying a new bicycle Started Human Resources April 2020, annually
Future Mobility Zone Provision of e-bike and e-scooter schemes in partnership with Derby City Council Future Derby City Council November 2021 onwards
Cycling Safety Promote via third-party partners cycling proficiency and safety courses, encouraging more confident community of cyclists Future Estate Management and Central Health and Safety Team September 2021 onwards

Objective 3: Partnering with local authorities and businesses to improve sustainable public transport provision

Measure name Purpose Started or future measure Ownership/​Lead Completion timescale
Future Mobility Zone Create links with new public transport services and sustainable transport providers Future Derby City Council November 2021 onwards
Unibus service Offer direct travel between Derby Campus, city centre and train station. Tender process to determine opportunities for more collaborative service from sector Started Estate Management and Procurement September 2021 (possible 5-7 years)
Buxton and Leek College (BLC) Bus Services Partnering with Derbyshire and Staffordshire county councils to utilise existing bus services Started Estate Management and BLC September 2021 (possible 5-7 years)

Objective 4: Improve local air quality and reduce carbon emissions

Measure name Purpose Started or future measure Ownership/​Lead Completion timescale
Electric vehicle charging (EVC) Provide EVC points for those commuting with electric vehicles Future Estate Management November 2021 onwards
Electrification of Estates vehicle fleet Provide ‘greener’ lower-carbon vehicle fleet with lower fuel costs Future Estate Management September 2023
Travel tender and provision Inclusion of coach and minibus bus travel within Travel ITT enabling greater control over high-carbon transport usage and transparent reporting on carbon emissions Started Procurement and Estate Management September 2021

Objective 5: Reduce the need for travel and transport

Measure name Purpose Started or future measure Ownership/​Lead Completion timescale
Communicating peak travel data Develop sharing of travel data to inform staff and students on peak travel times and efficient modes of travel New Estate Management (Supported by Derby City Council and Toyota GB) Academic Year 2021/22
Digital working Promotion of online teaching and working methods Existing CELT Ongoing