Travel by Car
- Do you really need to drive to work? Refer to other pages within this site for information on the viable alternatives to car commuting
- Leaving the car at home one day a week is a 20% reduction in cars being driven to the University
- The 2008 staff travel survey revealed that overall 45% of the staff live within a 5 mile radius of their workplace (easy walking/cycling distance) and yet 11% of the staff in this group usually drive this distance.
- The University issues car parking permits for a number of parking areas around the campus. The demand for car parking exceeds the provision and the permits are issued annually, subject to the payment of a fee. Any queries should be directed to ext 5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Before you travel, especially if for business travel, check out the local traffic information - at trafficwatch NI
Queen's University Carshare Club
If you need to drive on a regular basis to work, have you considered car sharing? The University's Car Share Scheme has been developed to enable staff and students to find a potential carsharer. Click on QUB Car Share Club to register your details. A document detailing Frequently Asked Questions including the registration process and issues surrounding charging passengers and insurance can be found by clicking here.
The benefits of sharing on either an informal or formal basis are:
- you can cut your travel costs
- you can help reduce peak hour traffic congestion and pollution
- cutting down on the number of days you drive to / from work can help reduce the stress of driving in congested traffic
- you still retain a level of flexibility that comes with having access to a car
- if you leave your own car at home it will be free for use by others members of your family
The 2008 staff travel survey revealed that 33% of staff are currently car sharing informally, so why not give it a try? Ask around in your department or building; you may well find a member of staff willing to share with you, but ensure that you are happy and feel safe sharing before agreeing to a car share.
Guaranteed Lift Home Scheme
The Guaranteed Lift Home (GLH) Scheme guarantees University employees, who formally car-share, a return journey home should the car driver let them down, in the event of an unforseen problem e.g. picking up a sick child from school. Applicants must be the passenger as the GLH Scheme assumes that the driver will drive or make his/her own arrangements. Click on Guaranteed Lift Home (GLH) Scheme for full Scheme details and terms and conditions.
Not willing to share?
Of course car sharing doesn't suit everyone. If you still need to drive, won't car share and there are no viable alternatives, you could consider off-setting your car's CO2 emissions with Climate Care - CO2 Calculator
Buying a new vehicle?
From the 1st September 2005, look out for the new car energy label scheme. Similar to the appliances energy label scheme, the label (see picture on the right) will show the estimated annual cost of fuel for the car, environmental information, and other data including the MPG (miles per gallon) and fuel consumption.
Further information on vehicle fuel emissions and the related vehicle excise duty - click on Vehicle Certification Agency. Examples of vehicles within the current CO2 emission bands are listed below:
A-rated (<100 g/km) - Battery electric vehicles
B-rated (101-120 g/km) - Toyota Prius 1.5 petrol-electric hybrid, Smart car 0.7 petrol, Citroen C2 1.4 diesel
C-rated (121-150 g/km) - Fiat Panda 1.2 petrol, Ford Ka 1.3 petrol, VW Golf 1.9 TDI diesel, Jaguar X-type 2.0 diesel saloon
D-rated (151-165 g/km) - Mini One 1.6 petrol, manual, Ford Fiesta 1.6i petrol, Peugeot 307 1.4 petrol
E-rated (166-185 g/km) - Ford Mondeo 1.8i petrol, Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 petrol, Rover 75 1.8 petrol, Toyota Avensis 1.8 petrol
F-rated (>185 g/km) - Land Rover Freelander 2.0 diesel, Audi A4 1.6 petrol saloon, BMW X5 4.8 petrol, Jaguar X-type 2.0 petrol saloon automatic, Toyota RAV4 2.0 petrol
(Source: Department for Transport)
Tips for fuel efficient driving
The way you drive
Be a good driver. Following these basic economy driving skills could save around you 30% in fuel costs (the equivalent of 25p on every litre of fuel you use).
- Dont over-rev the engine - particularly when starting your vehicle
- Drive smoothly - driving aggressively causes more pollution, will increase your risk of having an accident and will cost you more in fuel. Avoid rapid acceleration and heavy braking, and use the minimum acceleration necessary, even in a traffic jam. Remember - accelerate smoothly, brake gently
- Slow down- driving at higher speeds significantly increases fuel consumption, pollution and increases your risk of having an accident. Obey the speed limits. On faster roads, doing 50 mph can use 25% less fuel than 70 mph. Driving at 90 mph can use 60% more fuel than doing 70 mph
- Use higher gears,as soon as traffic conditions allow -be prepared to skip gears (up and down) to suit your speed and the terrain
- Switch off the engine when idling - idling engines burn fuel and waste money. Sitting stationary is zero miles per gallon, switch off the engine whenever it is safe to do so
- Cold starts. A car warms up faster when it is moving -dont sit and wait for the car to warm up - drive off as soon as possible after starting
- Use air-conditioning (AC) sparingly - AC is a drain on the cars engine and can increase fuel consumption by up to 20%. Use the air vents instead and on not so hot days and in stop start traffic wind down the window instead
Look after your vehicle
- Check your fuel consumption- it will help you get the most from the car. A reduction in miles per gallon/ litre usually means there is a problem
- Regular servicinghelps keep the engine at its best efficiency
- Check your tyre pressure -under-inflated tyres will increase your fuel bills and increase emissions
- Minimise drag - roof or rear mounted racks, and driving with windows open increases wind resistance and the amount of fuel you use. So wind your window up and remove racks if youre not using them
- Travel light - extra weight increases the amount of fuel you use. Check the boot regularly and take out what you dont need
Following this advice will help you do your bit to improve local air quality. It will also help reduce CO2 - a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.