Hull businesses secure ‘star’ status by supporting staff to choose sustainable travel options

Four of Hull’s most notable businesses and organisations have received national certification for their workplace travel plans which encourage and support their workforces, around 2,530 staff, to walk, cycle and use public transport for their daily commute.

(L to R) – Andrew Craggs, operations manager, and Samantha Dunion, general manager, from Doubletree by Hilton Hull with Councillor Mark Ieronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways, and Caitlynne Picot, travel plan officer (business), from Hull City Council

The Deep and the Holiday Inn Hull Marina have received Good Travel Plan (Bronze) awards from Modeshift STARS with the Double Tree by Hilton Hull and the University of Hull receiving Approved Travel Plan (Green) certificates.

These four businesses join national retailer, Next, who have a bronze accredited travel plan, and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, one of the city’s largest employers, whose travel plan has progressed from bronze to silver accreditation in the space of just 12 months.  

The national STARS accreditation scheme recognises workplaces that go above and beyond in developing, implementing and monitoring an effective travel plan to bring about a change in travel behaviour and reduce the number of single occupancy car journeys to, from and between their sites.

Sites are awarded Green, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum accreditation.

Hull City Council offers businesses and organisations within the city the chance to join Modeshift STARS for free as part of its strategic objective of promoting active travel choices.

The benefits and advantages of a workplace travel plan, include:

  • reductions of single car occupancy journeys, which helps alleviate pressure and congestion across site car parks
  • identifying availability and accessibility of viable transport options, based on staff locations
  • potential to improve and develop site connectivity links through sustainable and active travel
  • improving staff wellbeing, with physical and mental health benefits.

Councillor Mark Ieronimo, cabinet portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways, said: “It is brilliant to see businesses and organisations within the city taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in the Modeshift STARS programme for the benefit of their staff and for the local environment.

“In order to achieve Modeshift STARS accreditation, these businesses and organisations have delivered a range of initiatives as part of their travel plans, including promoting sustainable and active travel choices, cycling and public transport events, on-site cycle friendly facilities and the installation of EV charging.”

Katy Duke, chief executive officer at The Deep, said: “We are delighted to have received the bronze level of Modeshift STARS accreditation.

“As The Deep is a conservation charity, it is hugely important for us to look at ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

“Thanks to Hull City Council’s support in providing access to the Modeshift STARS programme, our crew have been able to further consider alternative travel methods to work.

“Aided by the recent re-introduction of the Priory Park & Ride route, which now calls at The Deep, visitors and crew members have an additional option for travel.”

The Holiday Inn Hull Marina has worked directly with local cycle charity, and Hull City Council partner, R-evolution, to host a free bike library event at the hotel to help staff cycle to work by taking advantage of a free 12-month bike loan with safety equipment included.

The hotel’s general manager, Daniel Reid, has pledged to cycle to work at least once a week from his home in Beverley.

“It has been great to engage with the team to identify where we can do more for our wellbeing and to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Daniel.

“The team have enjoyed taking part in this exercise, giving their voice and sharing opinions to help form our strategy and the guidance and support provided by Hull City Council and the R-Evolution team has been brilliant. The whole process has been incredibly collaborative and supportive.

“Health and wellbeing continues to be a crucial part of Valor Hospitality’s employee engagement strategy and we’re always looking for ways to improve. With nearly six generations in our organisation, it has been fantastic to see some positive changing of habits across the board.”

Phil Gilmartin, chair of the sustainability board at the University of Hull, said: “We are delighted that our work to establish a travel plan has been recognised.

“At the University of Hull, we are working towards a carbon neutral campus in 2027 and our travel plan is an important strand of this work.

“We know that everyone must play their part to contribute towards the urgent action needed to reverse global warming and the climate crisis.

“For anchor institutions like ours that means scrutinising all our actions and strategies and reshaping what we do, when we believe we could do better. We would like to thank Hull City Council for their support.”

Samantha Dunion, general manager at Doubletree by Hilton Hull, said: “We are immensely proud to be awarded this green accreditation, which is a testament to our dedication to becoming more environmentally conscious.

“At DoubleTree by Hilton Hull we are passionate about our sustainability commitments. Our travel plan is designed to decrease the reliance on conventional vehicle transportation and promote sustainable and active travel alternatives. This involves encouraging staff to make eco-friendly travel choices, promoting road safety through various cycling programmes, advocating for public transport utilisation among both our team members and guests and endorsing carpooling as an alternative to solo car journeys.”

If your business or organisation would like to take part in the Modeshift STARS programme, contact Caitlynne Picot, travel plan officer (business) at Hull City Council, at: