Earlier this year, Kyle Conroy, an intern at Exeter Science Park, studied the travel habits of businesses based on the campus and in the surrounding area. Despite there being a number bicycle routes, trainlines and bus routes, the research found that most people travel to the Junction 29 (J29) area of Exeter by car.

Many businesses and organisations in the region recognise the importance of current climate issues. For example:

Exeter Science Park’s research used anonymous postcode data of 2,500 people working at organisations surrounding J29. This equates to 12.5% of the 2011 working population and included businesses such as Oxygen House, LV, Ashfords, Met Office, and the Exeter Science Park campus.

Research found that the J29 travel

to work area extends across the UK. However, perhaps unsurprisingly, 93% of employees live in Exeter, Plymouth, Taunton and Torquay postcodes. Looking closer, 35% of J29 employees live in EX1, EX2 and EX4 postcode areas.

Cycle routes cover a large portion of these workers, yet commuters still favour the car. Equally, local bus travel

with a 10-minute walk either end prove another good option for some, with travel times competitive with cars. However, for those further afield in the region bus options are limited. Trains also provide a good option for many, but can come with a lengthy walk, therefore travel times are not competitive with travel by car. We need to make all of these routes safe and efficient to attract more users.

There is excellent access by road to the J29 area, so how can we reduce car usage?

J29 needs a mixed-mode commuter hub with two-way links to Central Exeter and Marsh Barton. For example, the K bus goes from Marsh Barton via Central Exeter to J29, and vice versa. Building the link between J29 and directly Marsh Barton would reduce travel times and make this a more appealing option.

Express commuter buses from clusters may reduce car travel. However, challenges include clusters near Exeter, such as Exminster, where the river hinders direct travel, and rural areas where clusters of workers are much wider.

We believe it is important to work together with partner organisations and the business community to share information, ideas and insight to help Exeter and the wider region develop more affordable and efficient sustainable travel options.

For more information about the study and its methodology, contact

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