Active Travel and Sustainable Transport
The governments Local Transport White Paper sets out a vision for a sustainable local transport system that supports the economy and reduces carbon emissions. The recently announced OAT (Office of Active Travel) further strengthens this strategy by promising a more active future for everyday travel.
What does this mean for Local Authorities?
Many local authorities have applied for funding through the LSTF, in order to help develop localised transport solutions that meet the needs of their specific communities.
Awarded funds for the first tranche of bids (up to £5m) were announced at the end of June 2011, with tranche 2 funding being announced in May 2012.
How does cycling fit-in to a local transport strategy?
It is likely, though not compulsory, that cycling will play a significant part in local transport strategy for years to come. The physical realities of this will no doubt be a number of initiatives to improve local infrastructure through capital projects as well as increased investment on interventions such as cycle training, education and advocacy.
One thing is for sure, local authorities will have to demonstrate the effectiveness and value of any projects funded through LSTF.
How can BikeRight! help local authorities to achieve sustainable transport aspirations?
There are a number of ways in which BikeRight! are already helping local authority partners to work towards lower carbon and more active communities.
Forging relations with local employers to encourage workforce travel change behaviour is the focus of CyclingWorks!. These projects set out to engage with large employers and their workforces, helping them to make informed decisions about cycle commuting.
Visit the CyclingWorks! website - www.cyclingworks.co.uk
Funded cycle training initiatives such as BikeRight!s Freewheeling project in Manchester have delivered remarkable results.
Since July 2010, the project has delivered over 600 adult cycle training places. Over 20% of the cycle training places delivered were ‘Learn to Ride’ sessions and over 75% were provided for women. These figures indicate that new cyclists are being created.
A copy of the Freewheeling report, showing all the findings can be downloaded here.
Effectiveness of cycle training
A survey carried out in December 2010, found that 80% respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the Freewheeling adult cycle training had helped them “feel safer”, have “increased competence” and feel more confident” when cycling on the roads. Also, 72% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that Freewheeling had encouraged them to “cycle more often”.
Prior to the Freewheeling cycle training over 55% of respondents described their cycling experience as being “not able to cycle, complete beginner or returning to cycle. After the Freewheeling training 66% of respondents described their cycling experience level as being either “average” or “advanced”.
Compared to capital-intensive cycling infrastructure schemes, such revenue-funded adult cycle training projects have been shown to provide cost-effective ways of encouraging more people to start cycling and to cycle more often. For example, 500 metres of standard cycle lane could fund an adult cycle training scheme for up to 350 people.