Communication – the fifth dimension of travel?

14.30 | 25 January 2011 | | 2 comments

Norman Baker, the transport minister, has urged civil servants to make more use of teleconferencing in order to reduce their travel costs (Public Sector Travel).

 Mr Baker said: “We currently think of there being four dimensions of transport – road, rail, air, and water – I want ‘communication’ to be seen as the fifth dimension. Communicating in smarter ways takes away the need to actually travel in the first place.

“I want to lead by example, so first off I am working to get the department’s (DfT’s) house in order. I’ve written to all policy officials to encourage them to use teleconferencing more.”

A series of internal workshops have been held so people know how to use teleconferencing equipment.

Mr Baker added: “I am talking to my colleagues across government and key external groups to make sure all opportunities to avoid the need to travel are taken, and this work will continue over the next few months.”

Click here to read the full Public Sector Travel report.


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    It must be technically feasible to have, say, five or six smaller regional venues to join into the RoSPA conference. Possibly local authority hosted? You could also have your own workshop session and then come back in from each region to complete the day. That would give you a regional face to face networking benefit along with taking part in and benefiting from the national debate. It would be one day, shorter and cheaper travel and no overnight costs etc.
    Not as nice as seeing familiar faces and you would lose the full benefit of catching up informally and picking up on what isn’t on the agenda but still has value, but it could be a good compromise. Even a one day conference in London or Birmingham involves an long haul and overnight stay for many of us.

    Honor Byford, North Yorkshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Was this a Freudian-slip to put this news item, on teleconferencing to cut travel costs, immediately above the item on RoSPA’s one-day seminar in Birmingham to discuss spending cuts in road safety?

    Roy Buchanan, Sutton
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