About Staveley Green Travel Initiative
SLACC Towards Transition were awarded funding to run an exciting community transport project in the village of Staveley.
We were highly impressed by the success and amazing results coming from the Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns of Darlington, Peterborough and Worcester, which suggested that getting people to change their travel habits wasn’t so difficult at all.
It seemed to mostly be a case of providing greater travel information to individual households on a one to one basis, giving individualised travel planning and detailing the many positive benefits of sustainable travel (whether financial, health, increased community involvement or other).
We were absolutely amazed to see that these ‘Smarter Travel Choices’ projects lead to significant reductions in car trips (7-25%) and increased journeys by lift-sharing, public transport, cycling and walking (of the order of 10-80%).
We were so impressed in fact, that we decided to do one ourselves.
To date, all such projects have been funded by the UK Government, and with one exception have always taken place in large urban areas and been run by the Local Authority, so this was the first time that a Smart Travel Project has been run by a community group, and in a rural village with a population of 1,300. As such, we are really excited to see what can be achieved. What happens when the community is given the money and asked to solve the problem themselves?
A Brief Outline of the Project
The project will involve several key elements:
- Survey. Every household will receive a survey aimed at establishing existing transport use and attitudes. There will also be an option on the survey to opt for a visit from one of our volunteer transport planners.
- Launch Events. There will be a series of launch events across the village. These will be celebrations and are aimed at getting everyone excited and aware of the project, and also keen to take part.
- Individual Transport Planning. We are putting together a team of volunteers from the community who will undergo training in travel planning with households. A key part of the project will then be to get as many households as possible to sign up to receive a visit from one of our volunteer travel planners. The volunteers will then arrange to visit the house and will sit down with them and go through their current travel behaviour in detail, and to identify areas where sustainable travel options would be more appropriate/beneficial.
- Weekly events. Running alongside the project will be a planned series of weekly events. From bike rides, walks, workshops, film screenings, games and talks to sustainable days out by train or coach, these will be aimed at reinforcing the message and also at continuing the buzz and maintaining interest in the project.
- Personalised Travel Information. For those households who do not sign up for travel planning, we will instead send them a leaflet containing tips on how to drive efficiently, customised train/bus timetables and information on the many benefits of smarter travel choices.
- Cycling. Free cycle training will be offered to children and adults, and free refurbished bikes to those on low incomes. There will also be opportunities to loan and try out cycling equipment such as folding mountain bikes (for bus journeys to a favourite destination in the Lakes), trailers, accessories, etc. Several people in the village will be trained in cycle maintenance and will offer this as a free service to the rest of the village.
- Travel Website. A community website will be established geared specifically to the community and containing a range of information on smarter travel choices from a village specific lift-share site, local bus and train timetables, local cycle routes, info on the benefits of walking and cycling, timetables, cycle routes, walking routes, events, clubs, cycle hire, local cycle loans, local cycle training, and more.
- Work and School based Travel planning. We will also be doing travel planning with the local primary school and the largest employer in the village, Cumbria Tourism.
- Evaluating success. This will take the form of an additional survey that we will ask those households who undertook ravel planning to complete. This will happen at least 6 months after the project has finished. Will any behaviour change be permanent?
We want to encourage groups around the country to take the initiative and launch a similar project. To help, all resources developed during the project will be made available to download here in due course and are free to be used.
If you wish to get involved in the project in any way, please contact us. slacc[AT]slacc.org.uk or 01539 740694.
The project has been funded by the Cumbria Strategic Partnership, Lake District National Park Sustainable Development Fund and the South Lakes Strategic Partnership.