Sustrans News

  • Dragonflies, bees and a desert storm appear in Ouseburn
    by Sustrans on October 18, 2017 at 4:01 am

    16 October 2017, Colourful cubes painted by four local artists have appeared on Lime Street in Ouseburn to help slow traffic and encourage a lively café and street culture as part of community redesign work led by Sustrans in collaboration with Ouseburn Valley volunteers and Newcastle City Council. The new-look bollards feature dragonflies, bees, balloons and desert storms. Local artists Hannah Scully, Luke Sellers, Danny McConway and Ernie Paxton came up with design ideas which were selected by local people. They have transformed the grey bollards into colourful features that create a sense of place, provide a visual traffic calming measure, and also act as useful seating at the foot of steep Stepney Bank. The painting is the final stage of a three-year Ouseburn DIY streets project which included widening of the pavements at Tanners Arms pub and Ernest independent café to create areas for sitting including planters and trees, as well as a speed table to slow traffic. We worked with local community volunteers to try out solutions and designs in the Ouseburn area which encourage people to walk and cycle, with the aim of creating a healthy, ‘liveable’ street. Sustrans Project Coordinator Tim Pheby said: “Ouseburn has undergone major regeneration in recent years and the roads which were once designed for goods vehicles are increasingly places where people want to walk and cycle. “New uses for industrial buildings and areas include an urban farm, art gallery, pubs and bars, Seven Stories national centre for children’s books, a bike shop and a microbrewery. We worked with the local community to help redesign the roads to reflect these new changes and create a more people-centred area conducive for walking and cycling.” Cath Scaife, a volunteer involved in the Project Team said: “There has been lots of really positive local input into the scheme, and the finished product has some real high spots: The colourful, sociable spaces outside the Tanners Arms and Ernest that used to just be big expanses of tarmac and a simple change in priority on Stepney Bank which means you don’t have to stop halfway up the steep hill if you’re on a bike. There are wider, safer footpaths coming down from the bus-stops on New Bridge Street, and of course our new brazen bollards!” Cllr Arlene Ainsley, Cabinet member for transport and air quality at Newcastle City Council, said: “This project shows how small changes in local areas can make a big difference for the people who live and work there. “The main aim has been about creating safe and healthy streets, where people feel able to walk, cycle and enjoy their local neighbourhood. “This is a great example of how, by working together with local people, we can achieve that aim and improve local areas for the wider community. “Hopefully the success of this project will continue with our Streets for People programme, in which we are working with residents in other parts of the city to develop similar improvements in their neighbourhoods.” Ouseburn DIY Streets Project is part of Sustrans Creating Liveable Neighbourhoods programme. It has been a collaboration between local residents, businesses and voluntary organisations, and was delivered in conjunction with Newcastle City Council, using funding from the Cycle City Ambition Fund. Find out more about how we transform streets and public spaces into safer and more attractive places to live in and travel through.&nbs […]

  • More than a million Scots at risk of Transport Poverty
    by Sustrans on October 18, 2017 at 4:01 am

    16 October 2017More than 1 million Scots live in areas which are at risk of transport poverty according to new research released today by Sustrans Scotland.  The findings found that up to 20% of neighbourhoods studied were at risk of transport poverty occurring. But, rather than being kept to remote parts of Scotland, the areas at higher risk were far more likely to be in accessible small towns (28%) or accessible rural locations (30%). Titled ‘Transport Poverty In Scotland,’ the Sustrans report has been released at the start of Challenge Poverty Week. The findings are the first of their kind carried out in Scotland, and have been welcomed by the Poverty Alliance, Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum and South East Scotland Regional Transport Partnership.  Transport Poverty comes from when people don’t have access to essential services or work because of a lack of affordable transport options.  The research uses data on household income, car availability and access to public transport networks, allocate risk ratings to each Scottish data zone.  It found that the risk of transport poverty was highest in areas with (relatively) low income, high car availability and low access to essential services by public transport.  However, of the high risk areas, 61% were places where vital services could be reached by bike in 10 minutes or by foot in half an hour. Sustrans Scotland National Director, John Lauder said:  “For many of us, the way we get to the shops, or how we travel to the dentist is something we don’t have to worry about. “However, for more than 1 million Scots, these every day trips that most of us take for granted, can be the difference between getting support and services they need or going without. “We need a planning system that puts necessary services where people live. People should be able to access shops, schools, healthcare and some places of work within a short distance without the need for a car.  “And whilst offering greater and safer opportunities for people to choose to make the same journey by bike, it will offer an alternative to being dependent on a car for some.”  The findings have been welcomed by partner organisations.   Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said:  “Supporting real alternatives to reliance on cars would bring economic and health across Scotland.  “Too many people living on low incomes have inadequate access to public transport, and other forms of transport sometimes seem out of reach. By providing better, more integrated transport solutions we can reduce the pressure of rising costs for families across Scotland.”  Scotland’s Regeneration Forum (SURF) Chief Executive Andy Milne said: “There is a strong consensus among our 280 cross-sector member organisations that accessible, efficient and affordable transport infrastructure is a vital component in efforts to improve Scotland’s economically challenged places.  "This welcome research by Sustrans Scotland indicates that as many as a million people in Scotland could be struggling with poor access to transport in their community. SURF would like to see more research and practical action in support of the closer alignment between transport and community regeneration policy and activity.”  George Eckton, Partnership Director of South East of Scotland Transport Partnership said:  “This research from Sustrans is timely and important and shows how vital transport is for inclusive growth.  “We have highlighted the in-work poverty aspects as well of the reliance on the private car in the absence of an accessible transport networks and in our X-Route report with Sustrans, we have highlighted the issues for the active commuters of the future.  “We are continuing our work with Young Scot going in Year of Young People 2018, so the data identified in the Sustrans report could be helpful for co-designing with communities’ solutions to their transport needs.  “We have recently asked Scottish Ministers to place the socio economic duty on us as a public body to better enable us to address transport poverty.”   Transport Poverty in England Sustrans first raised awareness of transport poverty five years ago with the publication of its ‘Locked Out’ report, which looked at the issue for people living in England.    It found that while transport and planning policy has focused on the needs of motorists, nearly half of all households in England could already be struggling with the costs of car ownership.   The absence of practical alternatives – including inadequate and expensive public transport and hostile walking and cycling environments – was, and still is forcing millions of people to choose between debt and social exclusion. Read our blog on what we think government needs to do to address transport poverty in Scotland Find out how we define and calculate transport poverty […]

  • Sustrans ‘leads the way’ with workplace award
    by Sustrans on October 18, 2017 at 4:01 am

    12 October 2017The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane has congratulated everyone involved in the Sustrans' North West ‘Leading the Way’ project who recently picked up the ‘Active Travel Workplace of the Year’ trophy at the prestigious Healthy Streets Awards in London. The winners of the inaugural Healthy Streets Awards 2017 were announced at Walthamstow Assembly Hall, with a host of inspiring entries gaining recognition. The judges awarded the Active Travel Workplace trophy to Derry City and Strabane District Council. The Mayor, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh said: “I am delighted that the Council have picked up this prestigious trophy and were recognised by the judges as ‘champions of active travel’. “ The judges feel that no organisation has done more to embody the spirit of healthy streets than Sustrans. ” - Brian Deegan, Transport for London “It is great to hear that the judges also praised the ‘commitment and enthusiasm’ of Council/Sustrans’ staff – and that their approach offers a template for all those looking to provide and encourage active travel in their own workplaces. “I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the Public Health Agency who commissioned this programme and everyone involved in the Sustrans’ North West ‘Leading the Way’ project who helped to secure this prestigious award.” Our Workplace Active Travel Officer Michele Murphy, who collected the award in London said: “It was great to attend this impressive awards ceremony and pick up this important trophy.  “It has been a pleasure to be a part of such a fantastic project – helping people get more active on their journeys to and from work." Brian Deegan, Principal Technical Specialist, Transport for London, on behalf of the judges said: “The judges feel that no organisation has done more to embody the spirit of healthy streets than Sustrans. We did not have a ‘greatest contribution to healthy streets’ awards category, but if we did then Sustrans would have won it without question.” Colette Brolly from the Public Health Agency added: “We’re delighted that Derry City and Strabane District Council have been recognised with this prestigious award. “This programme has been shown to bring real benefits by promoting staff health and well-being, with the potential to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity in the workplace.” We had two projects nominated in Healthy Streets Awards: Rolt Street in London in the Proposal of the Year category and Bristol’s Street Pockets in the Innovation category.  Read more about the Leading the Way programm […]

  • Northern Ireland's First Active Travel Hub
    by Sustrans on October 18, 2017 at 4:01 am

    11 October 2017, , , The colourful mural on the EastSide Visitor Centre immortalises the famous sons and daughters of East Belfast. Under the watchful eye of these ‘movers and shakers’ a new modern container-style office has landed which intends to get people, literally, moving. The Active Travel Hub is the first one in Northern Ireland and will be the base for an EU-funded project that encourages commuters in the East Belfast corridor to try alternatives to the car such as public transport, or cycling and walking along the Comber Greenway. Cycling and walking charity, Sustrans will be running the CHIPS (Cycle Highways Innovation for Smarter People Transport and Spatial Planning) project from the eye-catching Active Travel Hub off the Newtownards Road. The Hub is situated in EastSide Partnership’s new Pocket Park at 392-400 Newtownards Road. This previously derelict site has been transformed with landscaping, planting, street furniture and three shipping containers for various uses, including the Active Travel Hub. “ Our overall aim is to help more people try alternatives to the car to reduce the high levels of air pollution in this part of the city. ” - Pamela Grove-White, Sustrans Gordon Clarke, Sustrans Northern Ireland Director said: “This is a really exciting development for promoting active travel in Belfast. It made sense to base the Hub at C.S. Lewis Square where the Comber and Connswater greenways intersect. The CHIPS project focuses in particular on encouraging cycling commuters to use the Comber Greenway as part of their journey to work. “By encouraging people to walk, cycle or use public transport, the project’s aim is to improve air quality as part of a wider EU project across North West Europe. The area between North Road and the Ulster Hospital is an Air Quality Management Area, where frequently the level of pollution caused mainly by road traffic is unacceptably high.” Maurice Kinkead, Chief Executive of EastSide Partnership said: “We are delighted that Sustrans has chosen to base their Active Travel Hub in the new Pocket Park. We are very grateful to the NI Executive’s Urban Villages Initiative and delivery partners the Department for Communities, for their support in making the Pocket Park and Container Hub happen.” Engaging 10,000 employees to travel actively We are planning to establish a bike service point beside the Hub and secure cycle storage units using smart technology beside the new Belfast Rapid Transit stop which will be established nearby on the Newtownards Road. The £40m investment in the Connswater Community Greenway has helped regenerate an area of the city neglected after traditional industries died. C.S. Lewis Square has one of the busiest Belfast Bikes stations in the city; a popular café – JACK Coffee Bar; and with the arrival of our Active Travel Hub it is set to become an even more attractive place for cyclists. Pamela Grove-White and Martha Robb are two Sustrans Engagement Officers who will be based in the Hub. Initially the focus of their work is engaging 10,000 employees along the East Belfast corridor in a series of initiatives to encourage them to try alternatives to the car for their commute. Pamela said: “We have been working with many large employers including the Ulster Hospital, Bombardier and the Belfast Metropolitan College, as well as smaller employers such as the Holywood Arches health centre to encourage staff to cycle, walk or take the bus to work. Our overall aim is to help more people try alternatives to the car to reduce the high levels of air pollution in this part of the city.” One commuter Sustrans has worked with is 45-year-old Nicola McCausland who began cycling to work this year when she was relocated to the Titanic Quarter campus of the Belfast Metropolitan College. “It takes me 30 minutes to get to work, which is the same amount of time I would spend sitting in rush hour traffic every day and I arrive at work stress free,” she said. “I can’t recommend cycling highly enough, it really is a lovely way to travel." We aim to encourage more commuters like Nicola to get on two wheels and in the long term to have a permanent Active Travel Hub as an information centre for the general public to find out about routes, walking and cycling facilities in the area. Read more about the CHIPS project Find out about our workplaces programmes […]

  • Volunteers help clean-up Bennerley Viaduct
    by Sustrans on October 18, 2017 at 4:01 am

    9 October 2017Our project to restore and reopen Bennerley Viaduct has received a further boost thanks to the help of a local firm. Ward Recycling provided a skip free of charge to enable volunteers to begin removing fly-tipped material which has been left underneath the viaduct recently. We're working with local groups, organisations and businesses to bring the historic viaduct back into use as the centrepiece of the area’s walking and cycling routes. Part of the project involves enhancing the land underneath the viaduct by removing fly-tipped material and creating a diverse range of wildlife habitats. Volunteers and the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct have been actively supporting our project to transform the underside of the viaduct and creating a much more welcoming environment. Sustrans Community Officer Kieran Lee said:  “As the interest in the project grows, visitors from all over the country are coming to see Bennerley Viaduct - which is the longest wrought iron viaduct in the United Kingdom. We welcome the support of Ward Recycling who’ve helped us to make a start in removing fly-tipped material and unwanted debris. We are creating an area allowing a range of events to be held. It would allow families to enjoy picnics and school children to learn about their local environment. It’ll enable visitors to appreciate the wonders of Bennerley Viaduct and the rich heritage of the Erewash Valley.” James Balfour, Finance director of Ward Recycling commented:  "Ward Recycling always look to support local ventures and so we were more than happy to supply free waste disposal containers for the clean up on this project. We commend the Friends of Bennerley Viaduct and all the volunteers on their hard work and wish them the best of luck in getting the viaduct reopened.” For more information on volunteering work at Bennerley viaduct please contact Kieran Lee, Sustrans Bennerley Viaduct Community Officer&nbs […]