Journeys by bicycle have more than doubled in West Hove following a unique ‘personal travel plan’ project. Opening people’s eyes to the alternative travel options and the benefits to themselves and the environment has got them out of their cars and onto their bikes.
Visits to 10,000 households by Brighton & Hove City Council’s personal travel planners have produced some dramatic results in the way residents travel around the city, with huge numbers getting on their bikes.
Walking journeys have also increased by a third while car journeys are down by 6%.
The travel plan project, funded by Cycling England, is being run alongside ‘Journey On’ the council’s campaign to encourage people to get fit, save money and help the environment by walking, cycling or using public transport.
A dedicated team of travel advisers have visited 10,000 households in the Portslade and Hangleton areas of West Hove, speaking to around 25,000 residents about how they travel around the city.
Their aim was to provide advice, information and resources to help residents save money, time and improve their health and to make Brighton & Hove a nicer place to live by reducing congestion and pollution.
“We found that the personal contact not only helped residents to become more informed about their travel options, but more importantly prompted them to think about the sorts of journeys they make and how they make them,” said Dean Spears, Principal Transport Planner.
“Research shows 45% of people who drive to work travel less than 3 miles, which accounts for 27,000 car journeys per day. If each of those people changed just one journey a week to a sustainable mode of transport the benefit to their health, the reduction in carbon emissions, and the ease in congestion would be huge.”
Some residents were invited to take part in an intensive cycle scheme, and given incentives to encourage them to take up cycling in the city. “For some this was a bike and accessories, others had cycling refresher sessions, and some just needed an overhaul of a dusty and forgotten bike,” said Dean.
For Mina Kalantarzad, a visit from the travel adviser was just what she needed to inspire her to take up cycling. “I was already using the buses, but wanted the freedom to travel whenever and wherever I wanted. I also needed the confidence to be a good, safe cyclist so I could teach and encourage my daughter to ride her bike” she said.
“I’m now having cycling lessons and my confidence is growing. I’m making gradual changes and am now cycling to the shops and the swimming pool and going a little further each week. The travel adviser scheme is a wonderful thing.”
The project is set to run for another two years and advisers aim to visit 45,000 households – around 15% of the city’s population.
Residents can also get all they help they need to create their own personal travel plans by firstname.lastname@example.org and the first 150 people send the site an email will win a free 7 day bus pass.
For more information about how to travel around the city visit journeyon.co.uk.
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