Sustrans News

  • Wirral volunteer group wins Sustrans award
    by Sustrans on 14th December 2017 at 10:38 PM

    12 December 2017A Wirral-based volunteer group has won our North of England Volunteer Group of the Year award for outstanding commitment to volunteering and the community. The group helps maintain local cycle routes, organising task days to cut back vegetation, carry out litter picks, cleaning and painting structures. They also offer free training sessions to learn to ride; and volunteers also work at Eastham Centre in partnership with Wirral Evolutions, to run a bike re-cycling project and weekly activities using adapted bikes to help people with variety of disabilities enjoy the benefits of cycling. Volunteer group coordinator Janet Gregory said: “It’s great that our contribution is recognised. Volunteering has introduced me to all sorts of people and fantastic projects across Wirral. A key part of what we do in Sustrans is to build the skills amongst volunteers so that they can carry things on beyond the initial funding. We’re always on lookout for new volunteers, so please get in touch if you’d like to find out more.” Abigail Pound, Sustrans Volunteer Coordinator for the North said: “We are delighted to award the Wirral volunteers the Volunteer Group of the Year Award for their exceptional contribution to Sustrans and the community. Volunteers are helping local people to get cycling and walking in so many ways including leading rides, organising events, recycling bikes and maintaining the cycling and walking routes. “Janet Gregory the volunteer Group Co-ordinator always makes new volunteers feel welcome and co-ordinates all the different activity that happens across the Wirral. Huge thanks go to the Wirral volunteers and all our volunteers in the North, we couldn’t do our work without them.” Sustrans has over 4,000 volunteers in the UK, with 798 in the North. There are many varied volunteer opportunities – including maintaining traffic-free sections on the National Cycle Network, to helping to conserve wildlife, to photography and videography skills. Are you feeling inspired by our award winning volunteers? Find out more about volunteering with Sustrans […]

  • Dumfries community group gain official recognition after Street Design project
    by Sustrans on 14th December 2017 at 10:38 PM

    11 December 2017A Dumfries community group, formed as part of a Neighbourhood Street Design Project to improve an area in the Victorian quarter of the town, has celebrated their official status as a constituted community group. Residents from Queen Street, McLellan Street, Brooke Street and Cumberland Street came together to form DG1 Neighbours in 2014, as part of the five-year project with Sustrans and Dumfries and Galloway Council. The local group, played a vital role in shaping the changes to their neighbourhood, from helping to create the innovative art work to choosing the traditional Victorian street lights and gateways. Their engagement and commitment to the project has helped to make the area more attractive to live and safer for people to walk and cycle through. DG1 Neighbours’ new status as a constituted group means they are now able to access funding and support to help maintain the improvements to their local area and build on the project legacy. And to mark the occasion, the group have been awarded a £1,000 grant by Sustrans to help to kick-start works. Sustrans Scotland Project Coordinator for Street Design, Emily Davie said: “DG1 Neighbours’ ideas and continued involvement in the regeneration of Queen Street and the wider area has ensured that the neighbourhood has been reclaimed for those everyday activities that really define a community, such as feeling safe to walk and cycle, stopping for a chat with neighbours and coming together for fun local events. “By becoming officially recognised as a constituted group, residents have ensured that the legacy of the Neighbourhood Street Design Project will continue long into the future.” Chair of DG1 Neighbours, Robert Rome said: “Thanks to Sustrans and Dumfries and Galloway Council for their support and assistance in helping us to become a constituted community group. We now look forward to using the grant from Sustrans to build on the successful outcomes of this project.” Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Elaine Murray said: “All those involved in the Neighbourhood Street Design project should be proud of not only the physical work delivered but the legacy that now exists in the shape of DG1 Neighbours. This was an ambitious project which wouldn’t have been as successful without the backing of the local community who were involved at every level of the project and actively participated in the look and design of their area. Through the constitution, the community group should feel more empowered to take forward their ideas to the next level and this grant should help them to do just that. The Neighbourhood Design Project has been jointly funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council and Sustrans Scotland with funding from Transport Scotland. Find out more about the Street Design project in Scotland. […]

  • Sustrans birthday celebrations in Leicester
    by Sustrans on 14th December 2017 at 10:38 PM

    8 December 2017We've been celebrating our 40th birthday throughout 2017, and this week our team in the midlands held an event in Leicester. We've come a long way from our early Bristol based days, and to celebrate we were joined by a number of representatives from Leicester City Council, including Cllr Adam Clarke and Cllr Sarah Russell who cut a special cake. The cake came from a local Leicester firm (Chocoholic) and was delivered by bicycle. There were also awards handed out to local Sustrans volunteers for the work they’ve done in the area. Funded through the Department for Transport’s Access Fund and the People’s Health Trust, we engage with workplaces and schools in Leicester. Our aim is to encourage more people to take part in active travel such as walking and cycling. We've also delivered a number of community projects, such as the Braunstone Gate Places for People Project and improved cycling infrastructure at a number of locations - including Watermead Park. In the afternoon our staff and volunteers had a fabulous time at Leicester’s closed road circuit and then attended an annual low-carbon lecture at City Hall. Speaking on the celebrations our Regional Partnership Manager in Leicester, Dave Clasby, said: “It was great to celebrate the success we’ve had over the past forty years at our event in Leicester. We’ve received strong support from the community and the Council - there’s clearly real interest in cycling and walking. There’s so many benefits to active travel including better air quality, a healthier lifestyle and fewer cars on the road means less congestion. Today’s event was a celebration of what we’ve achieved over the last forty years – just think what we can achieve in the next forty.” Learn more about our 40 years of hard work, bold ideas and incredible support […]

  • Tracks of the Ironmasters path now wheelchair accessible
    by Sustrans on 14th December 2017 at 10:38 PM

    8 December 2017, We have widened and improved a section of the popular Sea to Sea (C2C) cycle and walking route as part of community work for Tracks of the Ironmasters to make the path accessible for wheelchairs, buggies and large bicycles. The 16 miles of paths, which runs from Whitehaven to Rowrah and Workington to Seaton, Siddick and Broughton Moor, gets its name from the former railway line which once carried iron ore from the surrounding mines. It is now a haven for people who want to walk and cycle, as well as wildlife such as red squirrels, lizards, bats and wildflowers. Widening the tarmac path by over a metre to 1.5m, with no barrier access will allow easier access for people with disabilities, while larger three wheeler family bikes and buggies will also benefit from the new look path. Improved access as well as restoration of historic bridges, features and natural habitats along the route was highlighted as a priority by local communities.  As part of the work local volunteers worked with our regional team to select and remove sections of grass verges alongside the path at Camerton, and reseed them, to help preserve grasses rich in wildflowers and wildlife. Sustrans Project Officer Nikki Wingfield said: “Tracks of the Ironmasters is a really exciting project which will help us open up this fascinating area as a vibrant history and nature trail accessible by foot or bike for all ages and abilities. By upgrading this section of the route to allow access for a wider range of bicycles and non-motorised vehicles we hope to make it much easier for local people to be able to enjoy the path.” In May 2016 we won a £859,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to preserve and improve the natural, social and industrial heritage of Tracks of the Ironmasters, and to share it more widely. The path is linked to former iron ore mines at Knockmurton and Kelton and ironworks at Workington, Cleator and Distington and includes a number of historic bridges and remnants of the path’s past, such as a rock crusher and railway signal. The C2C route attracts around 15,000 cyclists every year for the challenging 140 mile long distance ride between Whitehaven and Sunderland. If you would like to volunteer for Tracks of the Ironmasters please contact nikki.wingfield@sustrans.org.uk […]

  • Sustrans’ research recognised by United Nations
    by Sustrans on 14th December 2017 at 10:38 PM

    5 December 2017Sustrans’ research has been recognised by the United Nations as an example of best practice in using science to shape sustainable development policy.  ‘Fit for Life’, a report by Sustrans presenting independent research by leading experts into the public health benefits of walking and cycling routes, has been included in a new report by the United Nations. The report, ‘Strengthening the Science-Policy Interface: A gap analysis’, highlights the need for greater collaboration between scientists and policy makers in finding solutions to environmental challenges. In his foreword, Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, uses Sustrans research as an example of how this can be achieved: “There is growing evidence that sound science can play an important role in creating the political will to shape policies that can deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. For example, Dr Andy Cope, Director of Insight at Sustrans, partnered with the UK Research Councils funded iConnect research consortium to evaluate a UK Big Lottery funded active travel programme. Together they made a very compelling case for legislation and policy supporting walking and cycling in the United Kingdom. This includes promoting the Active Travel Act in Wales, increasing investment by the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland, supporting a Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy for England, and significantly increasing investment in active travel in Scotland through the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland.” Andy Cope, Director of Insight at Sustrans, said: “Walking and cycling is part of the solution to many of the challenges we face, including air pollution, congestion, physical inactivity and obesity. “From our recent Bike Life report to the launch of our new air quality model - making the case for walking and cycling using robust evidence is a key aspect of our work and we welcome this recognition from the United Nations. “We continue to call on governments at all levels to invest in cycling and walking to increase the number of people travelling in a way that benefits their health, the environment and the economy.&rdquo […]