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Free journey-sharing App launches for Bristol and South Gloucestershire NHS Workers

Over 8,000 NHS workers across Bristol and South Gloucestershire can now use a specially-developed app to cut congestion, and the stress of their daily commute.

North Bristol NHS Trust is the latest organisation to sign up to joinmyjourney, a free-to-use web-based scheme that enables staff to find walking, cycling or commuting buddies to share their journeys, either regularly or as a one-off.

The Trust has committed to reducing carbon emissions, and monitoring the impact of travel and transport across its sites, which include Southmead, Cossham and Frenchay Hospitals. It has already installed electronic tracking on some of its vehicles, and has plans to create electric vehicle charging points at hospitals. Around 20% of the Trust’s staff already travel to work by bicycle.

The map-based app is launched thanks to funding from South Gloucestershire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF), development from Aztec West-based resource efficiency specialist ecosurety, with support from North Bristol SusCom. It is available for Apple, Android and Window devices.

Benefits include reduced numbers of cars attempting to park at Trust sites, lower emissions, and helping staff save money by cutting commuting costs.

Others include less stress from sitting in traffic queues, improved confidence from increased outside exercise and the option to share sustainable and safe journeys during the winter.

Simon Wood, the Trust’s Director of Facilities, says: “As one of the largest healthcare providers and employers in the region, we recognise the environmental impact of providing healthcare services to the local community. joinmyjourney is now part of an award-winning travel plan to provide safe, accessible and environmentally sustainable travel choices for all, and reduce the number of single occupancy journeys being made to our sites in private vehicles.”

How joinmyjourney works

Users specify the start point (via postcode) and the end point of their journey from four Bristol NHS Trust sites: Southmead, Frenchay, Cossham and Blackberry Hill. Using an interactive map they identify potential sharers on the route, and can also specify their preferred mode (walk, cycle or car). Users then choose to message other users who most closely fit their needs, to plan their journey share, and the way can be easily amended if the default route doesn’t match the user’s preferred journey.

Once registered, users can also specify other key information, such as the days and times that they usually travel and state their preferences - i.e smokers, non-smokers, or to only share with somebody of the same sex, etc.

Advice on how to journey share safely is also provided, while users need to be working full-time, part time or contracted by an employer with an official work or email address, to take part.