Sustrans News

  • Pupils cycling to school in Scotland at their highest recorded levels
    by Sustrans on 26th May 2019 at 9:06 PM

    24 May 2019, The percentage of pupils cycling to school each year continues to increase according to new research released by Sustrans Scotland. A total of 3.8% of school pupils said they cycled to school in 2018, up from 2.8% in 2010. ‘Park and Stride’, where pupils are driven part way to school then complete the rest of the journey on foot, is also at its highest recorded level at 9.8% (compared to 7.4% in 2010). The findings form part of the annual 2018 Hands Up Scotland Survey, an official statistic in Scotland. Funded by Transport Scotland, the survey was carried out by Sustrans Scotland in partnership with all 32 Scottish local authorities. Active travel remains the most frequently reported mode of travel to school in Scotland. Of the 48.7% of pupils who reported travelling actively to school 42.5% walked, 3.8% cycled and 2.4% scootered or skated. Sustrans noted a drop in the percentage of pupils travelling by sustainable public transport (bus) to 16.2%, the lowest levels since the Hands Up Scotland Survey began. There was also a slight increase in the percentage of pupils who travelled by private motorised vehicle (car or taxi) up to 24.8%. There is a marked difference in active travel between independent and state schools. 46.9% of pupils from independent schools are driven to school compared to 22.9% in state schools. Commenting on the findings Sustrans Scotland’s National Director John Lauder said: “We want to thank all the schools who took part in 2018’s Hands Up Scotland Survey. “The report is an incredibly useful indicator of trends in how children travel to school. Helping schools, local authorities and partners identify what needs to be improved to help more children travel actively every day. “It’s encouraging to see that cycling and park and stride numbers continue to increase. Research has shown that increased physical activity can help children lead happier, healthier lives, while contributing to lowering pollution around their school gates.” “We need to continue to monitor the reduction in bus use, and seek to identify ways that active travel can be a viable alternative, rather than the private car.” Find out more about the Hands Up Scotland Survey Read more about our work in Scotland&nbs […]

  • Trans Pennine Trail celebrates 30 years
    by Sustrans on 26th May 2019 at 9:06 PM

    24 May 2019The UK’s first long distance cycling, walking and horse riding route is celebrating its 30th birthday with a series of events. The coast to coast trail runs from Southport to Hornsea, with many sections on the Sustrans National Cycle Network, and attracts some 1.7 million people a year. To mark this historic milestone the national Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) office is coordinating an events programme during 2019 along various parts of the 370 mile route. The year-long programme includes anniversary rides, walks and activities hosted by trail partners, including Sustrans TPT volunteers, Local Authorities, Friends of the Trans Pennine Trail and local user groups.  Initial construction works for the Trans Pennine Trail began in 1989, leading to a trail from York to Liverpool via Selby, Doncaster, Barnsley, Manc hester, Warrington and Widnes, with other northern and southern sections added later to create the full coast to coast route that officially opened in 2001. Today the Trans Pennine Trail meanders along old railway tracks, canal towpaths and riverside pathways, passing through urban and rural landscapes in Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. It includes some of the most historic towns and cities in Northern England, heritage sites and the Peak District National Park. As well as the main coast to coast route (215 miles) there is an additional North-South section connecting Leeds and Chesterfield, and spurs to York and Kirkburton. Much of the Trail is relatively flat and provides a great safe area for everyone, including families, and those less confident or less able to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Gillian Ivey, Chair of the Trans Pennine Trail partnership said: ”The route is a great place to encourage an active lifestyle, helping to promote good health through gentle exercise in a safe environment. In addition, in promoting sustainable travel the Trail is dedicated to improving air quality and reducing congestion by encouraging people to adopt green transport in their daily routines.  It is wonderful to have Sustrans joining our 30th Anniversary celebrations.” Sustrans is a partner of the Trans Pennine Trail and owns and manages some sections of the long distance path. The UK charity has active volunteer groups along the route and also helps attract funding to improve and maintain it. In 2015, Sustrans supporters voted the Trail as their favourite long distance route on the National Cycle Network. Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans Director for the North of England said: “The Trans Pennine Trail is one of the early success stories of the National Cycle Network and a fantastic example of how local partners can work together to create a resource which helps thousands more people get active for leisure and everyday journeys. As we celebrate 30 years we are looking at ways to maximise the benefits of the trail for all user groups and to create links with local cycling and walking networks. As part of our review of the National Cycle Network, we are seeking funding to invest in areas such as improving access along the Trail, on road safety, road crossings, way-finding and surface quality.” First discussions about the development of a Trans Pennine Trail began in 1987. The coal industry in South Yorkshire had declined, leaving a network of abandoned railway lines. Barnsley Council commissioned Sustrans to carry out a feasibility study, looking at the possibility of creating a major recreational network based on the town’s old railway lines, but spreading as far as possible across the north of England. Today the Trail start and end points at Southport and Hornsea are marked by striking Seamark features.  Many users choose to travel from Southport to Hornsea for the prevailing winds and from here the route travels southwards to Liverpool and eastwards across the Pennines and the Peak District National Park, towards Hull and eventually terminates at Hornsea on the east coast. It passes through 27 Local Authorities, with northern sections linking in York, Leeds and Wakefield and a southern link to Sheffield, Chesterfield and Kirkburton. The latest addition - Penistone to Kirkburton section, officially opened in 2012. Much of the Trail is now part of Sustrans’ National Cycle Network, which includes 16,575 miles of cycling and walking routes across the UK. The walking route between Liverpool and Hull is also the British part of the E8 European Long Distance Footpath, which runs from Ireland and will eventually reach Turkey. Visit the website for more information on the Trans Pennine Trail and the events programme or contact Hannah Beaumont at the national Trans Pennine Trail Office on T: 01226 772574. Or Sarah Roe, Marketing & Communications officer for Sustrans in the North of England on m: 07847 372647. […]

  • Success two years in a row at prestigious London Transport Awards
    by Sustrans on 26th May 2019 at 9:06 PM

    22 May 2019, , We were thrilled to see three projects we have worked on with the London Borough of Brent and the Royal Borough of Greenwich recognised at the London Transport Awards in March. Congratulations to Brent for its Meeting the challenge initiative Coming top in the Excellence in Cycling and Walking category at the London Transport Awards recognises Brent’s £5 million investment in cycling, walking and public realm schemes, successfully integrating active travel into its regeneration plans. We played an integral part in the borough’s success. The borough asked us to carry out the detailed design for one of their major projects. The improvements created space for people to cycle on semi-segregated cycle lanes in Carlton Vale,  including four new bus stop bypasses and the first 10m-wide pedestrian crossings in the borough. “ We’re extremely proud to have been able to support Brent and Greenwich in delivering their award-winning, transformative projects for their residents. It has been very rewarding to see their success in getting more people travelling by bike or on foot rather than by car, reducing emissions and creating a happier, healthier city for everyone. ” - Matt Winfield, Sustrans Director Co-design We also supported the borough in their work with residents, businesses and landowners to improve the streetscape and key junctions in Wembley town centre, creating a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists. A key part of the design was to improve connections between the town centre and the new development around Wembley Park. Behaviour change To help families walk, cycle or scoot to school rather than drive, we worked with Brent to deliver Bike It Plus, its flagship schools behaviour change programme, developing a bespoke package of events and activities in 17 Brent schools. Delivering positive results Brent’s cycling strategy has resulted in a higher percentage of journeys made by bike than in all other outer London boroughs. Our Bike It team makes a difference (2017-2018 academic year results): We trained 742 adults to ride bikes and trained 3,345 school pupils and under 15s. For three months, we worked with nine mothers who were previously unable to ride a bike. They can now ride confidently at Bikeability level 1. Our work with pupils at Convent Language School and the cycle club members at Preston Park has increased their cycle skills and confidence. “  I have been working with Sustrans on schemes since 2015 and they have provided excellent support with the preliminary design, consultation and detailed design of both schemes as well as overall project management. They continuously demonstrated that they are willing to go the extra mile. ” -  Adam Smith, Traffic Engineer, Highways and Infrastructure Service, Brent Council Great news for Greenwich’s work on the Thames Path A Highly Commended recognition in the Excellence in Cycling and Walking category for Greenwich recognises the borough’s great work on the Thames Path, which completed a missing link for pedestrians and cyclists along National Cycle Network route 1 and Quietway 14. Sustrans project managed the work as Transport for London’s Quietway delivery agent, involving the construction of a new cantilever bridge alongside the Thames Path, blasting through a wall to open access to an industrial estate and negotiating permissions with landlords to complete the missing link. The route is on Quietway 14 and also forms part of the iconic National Cycle Network 1, which goes from Dover through Greenwich to the Shetland Islands. The new route takes walkers and people on bikes away from the busy Woolwich Road along a traffic-free section on the Thames Path, making journeys more pleasant and shorter. Transforming a local business’s environmental performance Our work with Greenwich local traditional butcher, Drings, was recognised at the London Transport Awards, achieving a Highly Commended in the Contribution to Sustainable Transport category which included inspiring projects from all sectors. The zero-emissions project for the Royal Borough of Greenwich saw Drings’ owner, Michael Jones, pit his usual diesel delivery van against a brand new e-cargo bike to see which was better for both the environment and for his business. Our workplaces team, which works with businesses on environmentally-friendly travel options, commissioned e-cargo bike manufacturers Riese and Mueller to provide the bike. We trained four butchers to operate the bikes and identified the best routes to cycle, advising them on their delivery routes and our research team carried out a thorough analysis and evaluation. The Royal Borough of Greenwich financed the pilot scheme through the Mayor of London’s Air Quality Fund and it is one of a number of cleaner air initiatives in the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Low Emissions Neighbourhood. Find out more about our work in London. Read our latest London Review. […]

  • Dams for wildlife on Yorkshire path
    by Sustrans on 26th May 2019 at 9:06 PM

    22 May 2019, Our volunteers and local team have built three new dams on the Spen Valley Greenway to help attract frogs, birds, bats, insects, and wildflowers. The team built the dams, which are up to 18 foot wide, from logs removed from another greenway and mud from the surrounding wetland. We own the popular walking and cycling path, which is a haven for wildlife, and recently widened the wetland to help prevent flooding. Spen Valley Greenway is part of a network of traffic-free wildlife corridors on the National Cycle Network, which are managed to help boost biodiversity. The charity holds regular wildlife workdays and events on the path, and there will be a free guided bird walk on the route on Sunday 9 June Sarah Bradbury, our Greener Greenways officer in Yorkshire said: “We had great fun building dams to enable pools to form in this wetland area to help local wildlife. We could see on the day that pools were already starting to form due to our efforts and an inquisitive blue tit was taking a look at them. You can find out more about the wide variety of birds which use the Spen Valley Greenway at our bird walk on 9 June.” Find out more about Sustrans events in Yorkshire on Facebook […]

  • Children in Scotland’s poorest areas nearly 3 times more likely to be injured by road traffic than those in the richest
    by Sustrans on 26th May 2019 at 9:06 PM

    22 May 2019, , , Sustrans Scotland analysis highlights that children on foot or bike are more than three times as likely to be involved in a traffic accident in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland than the 20% least deprived areas.  The findings were shared at the Scottish Transport Applications Research conference (22 May 2019) as part of a presentation entitled “Investing in cycling to tackle transport poverty and promote equity” by Sustrans Scotland Senior Policy Officer, Alex Quayle.  Though it is well-established that there are more road traffic accidents in more deprived areas, this data looks at children travelling on foot or by bike only and maps clusters of accidents. It also makes a direct comparison between the most deprived and least deprived areas in Scotland. Commenting on the analysis, Sustrans Scotland National Director, John Lauder said: “This analysis shines a light on a ‘double injustice’ being done to Scotland’s poorest communities. Firstly, communities are locked out of opportunities through transport poverty. Secondly, children in those communities are at 3 times higher risk of death or injury while out walking or cycling, simply due to their postcode. “We are calling on local authorities and government to implement more widespread high-quality infrastructure and slower speed in streets to make children and young people safer, especially in Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas”. Peter Kelly, Director of The Poverty Alliance, one of Scotland’s leading anti-Poverty charities commented: “These figures from Sustrans are very concerning. We know that living on a low income can damage young lives in a variety of ways, impacting on health, education and future employment prospects. But there is a pressing need to better understand the precise reasons why children living in some parts of Scotland are more likely to be the victims of road traffic accidents. "Whatever the reasons, we need to ensure that resources are made available to improve safety standards in communities across Scotland." Read Alex Quayle’s analysis of the data  Read more about our work in Scotland […]