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"Home Grown Heroes" by Marilyn Gardner, Dyce Transportation Management Organisation - Meeting of 26th September 2006 in Aberdeen

Marilyn Gardner is co-ordinator for Dyce Transportation Management Organisation (TMO), the first transportation management company in the UK, and the brainchild of Vipre UK consultancy and Aberdeen City Council, which was incorporated on 31 March 2005.

Marilyn began by answering the question "why Dyce?". Dyce is a defined community within the city of Aberdeen, with residential and business areas that are marked by severe congestion; a problem that is exacerbated by offshore workers who leave their cards parked locally for 2-3 weeks while they are on the rigs. Whilst the area has few road links, it does boast both rail and air links. Before Dyce TMO was established, transport studies had been undertaken which highlighted the traffic problems, and therefore the aim of the TMO was to provide a champion who could work with local businesses to promote sustainable transport solutions.

Dyce TMO is a not-for-profit organisation that is currently funded by NESTRANS (North East Scotland Transport Partnership) and by 19 local companies with a composite workforce of 5,926, representing 30% of the commuters to Dyce. The companies, who currently contribute £7 per employee per annum to the TMO coffers, include BP, Haliburton, Schlumberger, Aker Kvaerner and BAA.

Marilyn went on to outline some of the initiatives that have been progressed to date. A travel plan known as "The Strategy Wheel" has been produced, with six main strands based on the outcome of a commuter questionnaire. Each of the participating companies can decide which parts of the wheel that they want to take from the plan.

An online travel survey conducted in 2004 indicated that: 87% of 2,660 respondents travelled to work by car; almost 48% of respondents never used their car for business, and 40% would be prepared to car share. As a consequence, was launched in May 2005 to make car sharing easier. There are lift-share co-ordinators within each company, and there are currently 650 members and growing.

Dyce TMO has also been active in promoting cycling through initiatives such as cycle training, bike hire schemes, bike buddies and Bicycle User Groups, The Cycle Friendly Employers Award, and assistance with cycle maintenance. The TMO also promotes bus use and it supports, in partnership with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils, a local bus service (route 777) which links a number of settlements with Dyce. It is currently working on proposals to reinstate a direct bus link between Dyce Railway Station and Aberdeen Airport.

On 22 September 2006 the TMO held "Leave Your Car At Home Day", which included providing free bus tickets and hosting a Workplace Challenge for the company with the highest proportion of employees signing a pledge form.

Marilyn has recently launched a charter mark entitled "Setting the Standard" - another first of its kind in the UK - aimed at recognising good practice within the TMO companies, and encouraging more companies to join.

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Report by Marion Mackay.


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