The transport charity, Sustrans, have the hardest-working PR department I’ve ever known, seriously I get a load of press releases from them every day.
Anyway aside from the opening of new cycle-paths etc, I thought this was noteworthy. The Department for Transport have named and funded three places, Darlington, Peterborough and Worcester, as Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns and it turns out it’s working as residents there have cut their car use and taken to more active, low-carbon forms of transport.
The Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns scheme was a five year project that finished in 2008 and aimed to encourage residents, commuters and visitors to walk, cycle and take public transport more often and to reduce single-occupancy car use.
The press release continues thus:
“At the end of the five-year project, car use had fallen by up to nine per cent across the three towns, detailed travel surveys conducted by Sustrans and its partner Socialdata on behalf of the towns have revealed. This equates to nearly 53 million miles of car travel taken off the roads across the three towns, resulting in annual savings of more than 17,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
“As car travel has fallen, use of more active and sustainable forms of transport has increased across all three demonstration towns. Levels of walking increased by more than 10 per cent in each location, while bus use grew by more than a third in Peterborough and by a fifth in Worcester.
“There was a 12 per cent increase in cycling in Peterborough and a 19 per cent increase in Worcester. Darlington, which received further Government cash to improve facilities for cyclists, saw levels of cycling more than double over the same period.
“Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans’ Chief Executive, said: ‘These results confirm what we have always suspected – that a lot of people are fed up with being stuck in their cars and that with the right support they are happy to walk, cycle or take the bus more often.”
Nice to know.