Put your Best Foot Forward - MP Transport


Mattinson Transport: Put your best foot first


As we enter the month of May and daytime temperatures start to soar above the 10°C barrier, it is hard to believe that only 2 months ago we were in the grip of a blast of distinctly unpleasant weather, aka the "Beast from the East".

My colleague Lizzie has already blogged on the issue of winter weather and how other countries like Switzerland are better equipped to deal with these unseasonal conditions. Check out her blog here. At the height of the maelstrom, major roads were blocked and there were delays and cancellations on all forms of public transport across the UK. In Scotland, a "Red Alert" was issued for the first time ever with a "risk to life" warning and for people to avoid travel at all costs.

Some would call it committed, others just plain idiotic but, in the middle of the Red Alert (29th February), I decided to chuck the ski gear on and walk from my home in the South Side to our office on Queen Street. The streets were deserted with not a car or bus in sight.

Prior to The Beast on the 29th February, I had never even considered walking to work and assumed it much too far and tiring. However, the experience really opened my eyes to the possibilities and benefits of travelling into work on foot, as opposed to using my normal method of train travel. I arrived in the office feeling refreshed and clear-headed and felt less distracted and stressed than normal (!). It is known that there are a number of benefits from walking to work.

Improving your level of fitness – walking briskly will increase your heart rate and breathing and ultimately your fitness levels. You'll also go some (or all) of your way to your daily 10,000 step target (if you're into this kind of stuff)

Improved mental wellbeing – exercising is known to positively affect your mood but it can also help you become more mindful and in touch with your surroundings, far more so than standing staring at your phone on a train

Lower Stress – studies have shown that individuals who switched from driving to work to cycling or walking felt more focused and less stressed at work than before

Save money – the amount you save on petrol, public transport fares or even a gym membership can really add up and be used for other things

In spite of the obvious benefits of walking only 10% or commuting trips are on foot, 4% by bike and the vast majority of the remainder by car/ van (68%) and public transport (16%) (Department for Transport – Transport Statistics Great Britain 2015). This may be because many people, like myself, haven't even given the remotest possibility of walking or cycling to work, even though they may actually live within reach.

My colleague Arun has recently written an excellent blog on cycling to work which is building on the work of the Mattinson Partnership's Smarter Travel Team aim of promoting sustainable travel. Cycling affords similar benefits to walking. As summer approaches, why not consider ditching the car or the train (at least once!) and cycling or walking to work. You might see some benefits!

Gavin*no longer with the company*

I joined the Glasgow office of the Mattinson Partnership in October 2012. I now have over 5 years' experience recruiting environmental, engineering and planning specialists across Scotland, the North of England and Ireland.

Prior to joining Mattinson Partnership, I worked within engineering consultancy providing specialist transport advice to local authorities, private developers, regional and national transport agencies across the UK. I was with Atkins for 5 years and gained extensive development planning experience, securing planning consent for retail, residential and commercial developments across Scotland. I have worked with a range of specialists in previous roles including transport planners, highways engineers, landscape architects, ecologists, EIA consultants and town planners which has helped me to better understand the needs of our candidates and clients operating in these sectors.

I have a BSc (Hons) in Geography from Bristol and am passionate about geography and the environment. I'm a dab hand on the capital cities round in the pub quiz but pretty useless on just about everything else! I'm sports daft and play football (which is daft at my age!), squash for Newlands LTC, as well as the odd game of golf (!) at my second home Prestwick GC in Ayrshire.

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London Wildlife Trust.

We are proud partners of The London Wildlife Trust, a charity dedicated to protecting the wildlife and wild spaces of London by driving environmental projects throughout the city. Our team often get involved at ground level in Wild Workdays by helping to maintain and restore treasured spaces and land… we love to get our hands dirty! We also run multiple interactive workshops, providing their conservation trainees with invaluable career advice and insights into the environmental sector to prepare them for employment. Most recently, we worked with young people taking part in their Keeping it Wild programme, which engages young people from backgrounds currently under-represented in nature conservation.

Royal Town Planning Institute.

The RTPI represents planning professionals in the UK and Ireland and aims to encourage the development of vibrant and prosperous places and communities. Our Senior Consultant Freddie enthusiastically attends the annual Planning Convention, and we host several events throughout the year to show our support, including drinks networking and a literal pub quiz. We also keep in close contact with our friends down under, at the Planning Institute Australia and New Zealand Planning Institute. In addition, we sponsor the London Planning Summit, an event designed to address the biggest challenges facing the industry. This is our opportunity to stay on top of the latest changes in town planning by meeting with other key professionals in the sector, while celebrating our achievements.

Land Securities Group Plc.

One of our clients, LandSec, are the clever people behind Girls Can Do It Too, an initiative designed to encourage girls to consider a career in construction. Currently, only 11% of the construction workforce are female, and LandSec are attempting to increase this number by providing education and engagement projects and workshops for girls aged 11-13. Featuring workshops on demolition and tower building, as well as challenging the girls to design a planning project of their own (with a focus on budgeting and environmental considerations), LandSec have proven their dedication to addressing the need for diversity in this very male dominated industry. Ruth assists the project by sharing her fascinating insights into the industry and is even on the project judging panel!

Urban Land Institute.

In partnership with Urban Land Institute we are able to play an imperative role in creating a larger and more diverse pool of candidates within the planning & property professions. Working in schools we take part in the Urban Plan Educational workshops programme, which has now reached more than 2,500 pupils in 100 schools since its launch. Alongside more than 200 industry volunteers engaged across the country, we provide invaluable industry & careers advice to students while guiding them through their workshops and helping judge their presentations.

Carbon Footprint.

Carbon FootprintTM works to help organisations offset their CO2 through tree planting and community projects worldwide. By partnering with Carbon FootprintTM, we have planted native trees and shrubs such as Whitebeam, Hazel, Field Maple, Silver Birch, Rowan, Beech, Blackthorn, Holly and Dog Rose to create a Mattinson Forest that spreads across South East England. Carbon FootprintTM work in conjunction with the Florestal Santa Maria Project (FSM-Redd Project), designed to reduce deforestation in the Amazonian Rainforest. So, for every tree we plant in the UK we guarantee a tonne of CO₂ offset in Brazil too. Carbon FootprintTM have allowed us to not only do our bit for the environment but also commemorate moments of growth for our clients and candidates.