Q & A: Will Nelson in the PEP Travel Planning team
The PEP Travel Planning team is becoming well known for its high quality reports, leaflets and newsletters in support of the planning process. Will Nelson is a member of the successful team. He’s worked in the industry for six years and has been with PEP for 18 months. Here Will chats to our Communications Manager, Sally Pitt about his role.
Sally: What do you like the most about this area of work?
Will: I like that travel planning helps play a key part in helping people access employment opportunities and leisure facilities.
It’s also rewarding helping to get people to use sustainable travel modes on a day-to-day basis for their journeys. It’s even better when I get a thank you from them for providing useful travel and transport information!
And of course, seeing a planning application you’ve worked on gain planning approval or a condition be discharged is always a great feeling!
Sally: And what do you like about your role at PEP?
Will: I have the freedom to take the initiative on projects, yet I know the team is there to provide assistance and guidance when I need it. Plus visiting sites and attending meetings mean no two days are the same.
Sally: What sectors does PEP produce Travel Plans for?
Will: It’s a real cross-section – we produce Travel Plans for supermarket chains, leisure venues, distribution centres (for a major e-commerce marketplace), national house builders, architects and local authorities.
Sally: How easily do your Travel Plans gain the approval of the local authorities?
Will: Well it really depends on the authority. We pride ourselves on the thoroughness of our Travel Plans, the attention to detail and the highly bespoke nature of each one. Regular site visits and extensive research are undertaken to ensure we present a professional, high quality document.
Sally: What would you say sets your department apart?
Will: Well I can’t speak for other companies, but I know what we do well at PEP. We’re a small team, which means each document is created by the same experienced professionals who are pounding the streets, researching the area, the different modes of travel, and talking to the residents and employees. Clients deal with the same people from start to finish. We make sure all bases are covered. It’s this level of accuracy and personal attention that is always well received.
Sally: PEP was presented with the TravelWest award for the company’s commitment to sustainable travel which is a demonstration of your hard work. How do you go the extra mile (excuse the pun…)?
Will: Incentivising employees and homeowners to use more sustainable travel is never easy. We have good relationships with travel providers across the UK so that stands us in good stead. We talk to key stakeholders right through to independent retailers to come up with imaginative solutions. I’m not going to divulge the clever incentives we come up with though!
Our Travel packs are very good. We’re very visible. We attend community events, we provide attractive information on websites, we produce newsletters…it’s often the small things that make a big difference.
Sally: And how about monitoring the success of your initiatives?
Will: The Travel Planning team undertakes initial surveys, follow-up surveys, hands-up surveys in schools and workplaces – all sorts! We’ve always met our targets and in non-residential situations, often exceeded them.
Sally: Thanks Will. I’d better let you get back to your travel planning. And end on the news that we’ve been given some feedback from a satisfied customer! And there are more where this came from!
“I am very pleased with how the first year [of the Travel Plan] has gone, including establishing a very positive working relationship with staff onsite. This has been the bedrock to the success of the measures.”
Travel Plan Officer for an international e-commerce marketplace
For more on PEP’s Travel Planning service, take a look here.