- 21 March 2019
Families in Bedford are backing this year's Big Pedal competition ahead of its launch next week. So far 20 schools in Bedford have signed up for the UK’s largest cycling, walking and scooting challenge for schools - more than double the nine that took part in 2018. Across the country, 2,145 schools have signed up with 692,959 pupils taking part, although this figure is growing by the day.
This year’s competition is backed by Angellica Bell, British television, radio presenter and cycling advocate, who took on the ‘Tour de Celeb’ in 2016 where she found her love for cycling. It will run from Monday 25 March to Friday 5 April and will encourage young people from across the UK to travel by bike, foot or scooter for their journey to and from school. During the 10 days, participating primary and secondary schools will compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter.
The Big Pedal is now a regular feature and last year nine schools in Bedford embraced the competition recording an impressive 9,028 journeys. One school that took part in last year’s contest was Castle Newhnam, achieving a national position of 337 with more than 22% of pupils taking part.
The school are looking forward to taking part again this year. Commenting ahead of the competition, Year 3 Teacher and Sustrans School Champion Anna Humphries, said; “Last year the number of children scooting and biking to school increased during the two-week slot and more parents also made the effort. We had a lot of staff who cycled in and it encouraged them to think about travelling this way more often instead of bringing the car in. This year we are looking forward to including walking to school as well. The number of children who live locally means that they will encourage their family to make the effort to increase their daily exercise! We also have Year 5 and 6 taking part on the North site.”
The theme of this year’s Big Pedal is ‘Travelling around the body’, with pupils tracking their progress on a wall chart, learning about the human body and how active travel benefits their health as they go.
Angellica Bell, who is backing the campaign, said: “I’m delighted to be supporting this year’s Big Pedal. It’s a fantastic way to encourage more children to cycle, walk or scoot – doing wonders for their health and the environment around them. I hope as many schools as possible sign up for the challenge and inspire children and families across the UK to get on their feet, scooter or bike for their journey to school.”
Matt Easter, Sustrans England Director Midlands and East, said: “The Big Pedal may only run for two weeks but can leave a lasting effect on the way children travel to school. It can show parents what’s possible and how easy it can be to leave the car at home for a few extra journeys a week. We are confident that 2019 will be even bigger and better than 2018!”
The Big Pedal 2019 is open to individual classes as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils expected to take part. For schools unable to take part in the main challenge, there is also a one-day version, which can include cycling, walking and scooting activities during the school day as well as on the journey to school.
Schools and classes will be entered into a daily prize draw for rewards, including scooters, if more than 15% of a school cycle, walk or scoot on each day of the challenge.
Ask your child’s school to sign up to Sustrans Big Pedal 2019. Please visit www.bigpedal.org.uk for more information.
- 21 March 2019
It may only be March, but a community group in Lincoln are calling for volunteers to sign up to an Easter egg hunt with a difference! During the event on Saturday 13th April, participants will search for a series of clues while cleaning up at the same time!
So far around six families have signed up to take part in the quirky event, which is being organised by the Moorlands Local People Project. They’re aiming to recruit another twenty families before the big day.
It comes from an idea at a recent steering group meeting where local residents said a cleaner neighbourhood was one of their biggest priorities. The idea for an Easter egg hunt was also put forward and the decision was taken to roll both into a single day.
Covering around one square mile each, there will be three trails available to participants on the day. The event will include a woodland trail, a street trail and a playground hunt. The volunteers will be divided into groups and will take one route each.
The children taking part will be searching for a number of varnished stones which have been hidden. They’ll need to collect the stones at each point to show they’ve completed the course to receive their prize.
The varnished stones are being prepared by a local craft group which is part of the Moorlands Local People Project. They’ve also created a number of Easter egg baskets from recycled materials. These will be filled with Easter eggs and handed out to children that participate when they complete the course.
The event has the full backing of the local YMCA who’ll be helping to clean up on the day. Organisers are also seeking support from local businesses.
Commenting ahead of the event, Community Project Officer Wanda Wilson from Sustrans, said; “Local residents have told us that cleaning up the neighbourhood is a big priority for them. So we came up with the idea of an Easter egg hunt with a difference! It’s a way of making our neighbourhood cleaner and having a bit of Easter fun at the same time. During the hunt you follow the clues, clean up your area and get an Easter egg for the rubbish you pick up and bring back. So why not come and join in the fun by cleaning up your area for the Easter Bunny?”
Funded by the People’s Health Trust, the Moorland Local People Project is an exciting initiative which aims to improve health and wellbeing by creating a better place to live. We're delivering the project with support from Lincoln City Council and Lincolnshire County Council.
The event will take place between 11am and 12pm starting at the old butchers shop at the Moorland Avenue round shops. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: https://www.facebook.com/MoorlandLocalPeople/ for more information and to get involved.
- 21 March 2019
Communities across England will benefit from upgrades to existing cycle routes and improved cycleway connectivity.
Cycling Minister Jesse Norman has today announced a £21m investment to improve significant on and off-road stretches of the 16,575-mile National Cycle Network, as part of a multimillion pound investment to improve cycling and walking around the country, cut down emissions and improve safety.
Welcoming the announcement, Xavier Brice, Chief Executive of Sustrans said:
“As the custodians of the National Cycle Network, we are very excited by this investment in transforming crucial links for communities across England, making it easier for everyone to walk and cycle.”
“The Network already makes it possible for 4.4 million people to travel actively every year, to work, school or for leisure. This investment is a vital boost to achieving a Network of safe paths for everyone, used and enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
"We look forward to working with local authorities and partner organisations around the country to improve people’s health, access to green spaces, and help our villages, towns and cities move sustainably.”
It is estimated that the health benefits associated with walking and cycling on the Network prevented 630 early deaths in 2017 alone, and averted nearly 8,000 serious long-term health conditions.
Alongside this major investment to encourage people to take to two wheels up and down the country, the Department for Transport has also announced £2m for broader cycling and walking initiatives, such as the Living Streets Walk to School outreach programme and Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival.
Jesse Norman, Transport Minister, said:
“Cycling and walking are a key part of our plans to make transport cleaner, greener and more productive.
“This funding will help ensure that everyone can enjoy wonderful routes which connect communities across the UK, and benefit from the huge health and environmental benefits of cycling.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
DfT published the response to the CWIS Safety Review in November 2018, which outlined a number of actions to improve safety for those who are cycling and walking: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/cycling-and-walking-investment-strategy-cwis-safety-reviewRead the full announcement from DfT
- 19 March 2019
Xavier Brice, CEO for Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, welcomed the Future of Mobility: Urban Strategy launched by Department for Transport today:
“We very much welcome that the strategy puts walking and cycling at the heart of future urban mobility, one of nine sound principles the UK Government has defined to facilitate innovation in urban mobility.
“The future of our towns and cities depends on our ability to move around sustainably and on solutions that have a better impact on public health, congestion and urban space. This is why it is good to see the principle that walking, cycling and active travel must remain the best options for short urban journeys.
“Over the next decade technology is going to drive a revolution in transport as big as the railways and the internal combustion engine; one that could result in greener and more convenient travel for everyone. But we need to start with the end in mind. What type of places do we want to live in? What type of lives do we want to lead?
And nothing is better at creating healthier places and happier lives for everyone than investing in solutions that make it easier to walk and cycle.
“With leadership and action, the Government has a clear opportunity to transform walking and cycling for today’s and future generations.”Read our response to the call for evidence
- 18 March 2019
Our new cycling and walking centre, which offers everything from free bike parking to guided rides and walks, has opened on Stockton High Street.
‘The Hub’ has relocated from Bridge Street to the former Burton’s shop, which has been brought back to life through a beautiful restoration by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.The Hub is managed by us and offers free bike parking and a wealth of free information, advice and training on all things walking and cycling. The Hub team runs weekly guided walks and rides around Stockton, and training courses on cycle maintenance, learning to ride, and on-road cycling. There are also free drop-in bike MOTs every Thursday morning, run by qualified volunteer mechanics.
Andy Elliott, our manager at The Hub said: “The Hub is a great place to find out more about getting more active and healthy in and around Stockton. There are regular walks and bike rides for all abilities, as well as bike storage and maintenance. It’s a really friendly and social way to exercise and a much cheaper form of transport than the car! We’re open every weekday - come along and find out more.”
Councillor Mike Smith, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, said: “This is another great example of the Council investing in sustainable travel in the Borough.
“The Hub was the first centre of its kind in the UK and provides a brilliant service to our residents, offering advice on everything from your school run to your daily commute.
“Moving The Hub to such a prime location at the heart of Stockton High Street makes it worthy of its name. It also happens to be a great example of what the Council can achieve when it steps in and takes control of an empty building.
“This beautiful old building was standing empty but we have been able to step in and take control – renovating it to a very high standard and finding a new use for it, in this case, as the home of a valuable public service.
“I would encourage anybody to see what the service can do for them. I bet there are many attractive places in the Borough to cycle and walk that you weren’t even aware of!”
The Hub is in the former Burton’s store, opposite the Parish Church, at the Stockton High Street entrance to Wellington Square. It is open from 7.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.
More information at https://thehubstockton.wordpress.com/
- 13 March 2019
Community Links, Community Links PLUS and Safer Routes to Schools combined into one fund. Simpler to access funding, knowledge and expertise to make places better for everyone.
Walking and cycling charity Sustrans Scotland are launching a redesigned infrastructure fund Places for Everyone on 13th March 2019. The fund is supported by Transport Scotland to invest in projects that create safer, more attractive streets and places for people to walk, cycle and wheel in.
Following feedback from partners and applicants, Sustrans Scotland is simplifying access to funding to design and deliver places for walking and cycling. The new Places for Everyone fund will unify and simplify three funding streams - Community Links, Community Links PLUS and Safer Routes to Schools - into one programme with one application process. The same amount of funding and support will be available, however the Sustrans team want to ensure that there is a simpler application process for partners, also giving more flexibility to Sustrans officers to allocate support and funding where it will have the most impact.
Places for Everyone highlights Sustrans commitment to creating accessible spaces and places for all. Sustrans provides not just funding but also knowledge and expertise to work in partnership on projects of various levels, from building protected pathways, to working on the transformation of whole neighbourhoods that prioritise people, to making the school run safer and more convenient.
Matthew Macdonald, Head of Project Delivery Infrastructure for Sustrans Scotland, said: “Places for Everyone is an important step in achieving clarity, consistency and simplicity so that our funding is accessible for anyone that needs it. There’s just one application process and we’ll do the hard work behind the scenes to identify the funding that matches your ambitions.
“This rebrand is also an opportunity to underline the experience, expertise and partnership-approach that is at the core of how Sustrans works. Our success isn’t based on simply sharing funds but also in sharing knowledge.
“Infrastructure isn’t just new paths and cycleways it is about how places prioritise people movement over vehicular access. We want walking and cycling to be accessible to all providing infrastructure that makes it easier to change life-long travel habits and a chance to create healthier, happier places to live, work and play.”
Places for Everyone opens for applications on Wednesday 13th March 2019 for funding, knowledge and expertise to improve walking and cycling routes, conditional on applicants matching the funding provided.
For more information please contact
Henry Northmore, Senior Communications and Policy Officer, Henry.Northmore@sustrans.org.uk, 0131 346 1384
Seumas Skinner, Communications Officer - Infrastructure, Sustrans Scotland, Seumas.Skinner@sustrans.org.uk, 07811 760 795
- 11 March 2019
Today Public Health England has published air quality interventions evidence review, which outlines a set of recommendations on how the government can improve air quality, including banning cars outside schools, investing more in clean public transport and foot and cycle paths as well as introducing road pricing.
Dr Andy Cope, Director of Insight, Research & Monitoring at Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, who has contributed to the Review said: “This review is a significant step forward in providing clear guidance to tackle all forms of air pollution, including road transport emissions.
“We need radical changes in the way we travel. There is a growing body of evidence that shows investing in and encouraging walking and cycling can make a major contribution to reducing roadside air pollution. The challenge now is to connect the evidence to legislative changes, and to practical measures.
“This review is an explicit call to action for governments at all levels to join up transport, health and air quality policies so that we can effectively reduce emissions from motor vehicles across the UK while releasing health benefits from increasing walking and cycling.
“Equally, it’s an urgent reminder to the UK Government to show leadership by creating new clean air legislation that tackles all forms of air pollution.”For more information and interviews please contact:
Anna Galandzij, Senior Press Officer at Sustrans, email@example.com, 07557 915648
Liv Denne, Press and Media Officer at Sustrans, firstname.lastname@example.org, 07768 035318
- 8 March 2019
Belfast Lord Mayor Cllr Deirdre Hargey met with women from across the city at Belfast City Hall today after we organised a led ride to mark and celebrate International Women’s Day.
Cycling has been growing in popularity in recent years, but male cyclists still outnumber female cyclists two to one across the UK, and three to one in Belfast.
Undeterred by the rain, the women donned their waterproofs and cycled from the Gasworks along the Alfred Street cycleway to Belfast City Hall where they met the Lord Mayor.
“ I’m delighted to meet the women with Sustrans this morning as we celebrate International Women’s Day and this year’s theme #BalanceforBetter. ”- Deirdre Hargey, Belfast Lord Mayor
"I’m delighted to meet the women with Sustrans this morning as we celebrate International Women’s Day and this year’s theme #BalanceforBetter. During my year in office, I’m focused on helping to shape a Belfast that’s more welcoming and equitable for everyone – so I’m really encouraged to see these women finding the confidence to get on their bikes and exercise and socialise together.
“I’ve met so inspirational many women in my time as First Citizen so far – women who are giving so much of themselves to improve society, quality of life and opportunity for others. International Women’s Day is about recognising the resilience, energy and unique strengths that women bring to the world – and also encouraging men and women to support one another more along life's journey.”
The aim of today’s ride was to raise the profile of cycling among women and encourage more to get on their bikes for their commute or leisure.
Sustrans Bike Life report, produced in partnership with the Department for Infrastructure, showed that as many as 80% of women never cycle in Belfast and that just 29% of women regard cycling as safe in the city, with many calling for more protected cycleways, separate from traffic.
In order to tackle the gender gap in cycling, Sustrans runs a Women into Cycling programme which is a free 6-week course providing on-road cycle training, bike maintenance skills and support. There are two new courses coming up in the spring and summer.
Other participants in the ride were from the Leading the Way programme, funded by the Public Health Agency, which aims to get people more active on their journeys to and from work and daily routine. It focuses on a number of large employers in the Belfast area: the Public Health Agency itself, Department for Infrastructure, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast City Council and RQIA.
Key facts:Across the UK men are twice as likely as women to use a bicycle for travel on a regular basis Men in Belfast are nearly three times as likely to ride bikes as women 80% of women never cycle in Belfast 70% of women in Belfast want there to be more investment in cycling to make it safer to travel
(source: Bike Life 2017)Find out more or enrol on the Women into Cycling Programme Read more about the gender gap in cycling
- 7 March 2019
We've been commissioned by Essex County Council to deliver a community-led street design project enabling residents living in and around Winstree Road, Colchester, to have a say on how their streets can be improved.
The project, known as the Winstree Road Community Travel Plan, will engage residents, pupils, teachers, councillors and other users of the area, and will eventually lead to temporary alterations to local streets.
Winstree Road is already home to three schools, The Stanway School, Stanway Fiveways Primary School, and Stanway Primary School. The new Lexden Springs School is being built on the site of the former Heath School and will open later this year.
These schools, which together have 2,086 pupils, are all within 700 yards of one another and calming traffic levels and speed during busy morning and afternoon school drop off times is a priority.
The project will start in April and will report back with its findings in just under two years. Residents can take part in engagement sessions, pop-up events on streets and activities at local schools.
Residents will also be invited to trial changes to road infrastructure using our innovative ‘street kit’.
The kit includes large plastic blocks which can be used to make short-term alterations to local streets. This allows engineers to analyse the impact any changes might have on traffic and pedestrian flow. It also gives residents the chance to experience changes before they are permanent and then give feedback on those changes.
Also included in the project is a small amount of funding to make temporary improvements such as flower planters and the ability to change highway markings.
Matt Barber, Sustrans Head of Partnerships, Midlands and East, said: “We’re delighted we have been selected to spearhead this innovative community-led street design project in Winstree Road. It’s a completely new way of working which puts the community at the heart of decision making so they are able to shape the future of their neighbourhood. It’ll enable them to design a plan to make the area safer, less congested and more attractive to live in and travel through.”
Kevin Bentley, Essex County Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, said: “This project will allow residents to reclaim control over their streets, it will give them a say in how those streets are shaped and it will make those streets safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. It meets Essex County Council’s strategic aims to create great places to grow up, live and work and enable inclusive economic growth.”
Sustrans are keen to hear from anyone who has a view or wishes to get involved in the consultation. Residents should email email@example.com or more information.
Sustrans works with Bromley to secure multi-million pound funding package for Liveable Neighbourhood5 March 2019
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In partnership with Bromley, we’ve secured a multi-million-pound funding package from TfL’s Liveable Neighbourhoods funding stream for the outer London borough’s Shortlands, Ravensbourne and Bromley Better Villages project. The project aims to create healthy streets across London, enabling people to choose to make more everyday trips on foot, by bike or on public transport.
The funding from the Mayor of London’s and Transport for London’s (TfL) £114 million Liveable Neighbourhoods programme will enable Bromley to forge ahead with its ambitious plans for the area around Shortlands Station.Building on our success in Lewisham
Hot on the heels of our success in securing £2.9million for Lewisham last year, we worked with Bromley to develop the successful Liveable Neighbourhoods bid that built on our existing relationship when we worked on the Greenwich to Kent House and Lower Sydenham to Bromley Quietway cycle routes.Creating a sense of place
The funding will allow a transformation of the area which will see Shortlands Station better connected with the surrounding neighbourhood. New pedestrian crossings and protected cycle lanes will give people easier access to rail services to central London and Kent. Through thoughtful street design, there will be a renewed sense of place for Shortlands as a village hub with a lively business scene and people prioritised over traffic. It will be greener and healthier, enabling people to get around on foot, by bike and on public transport, contributing to the Mayor’s target for trips by active means and the borough’s own ambitious targets set out in its Local Implementation Plan 3.
In response to what residents and businesses asked for, we developed, with Bromley, a number of design proposals for inclusion in the bid, including pocket parks to make the area greener and more pleasant, measures to slow excessive traffic speeds as well as cycling and walking infrastructure.
A new cycle hub will also be constructed at Shortlands station. Pupils are set to benefit from School Streets which will make it easier to get to school without cars and a new low traffic impact neighbourhood west of Bromley Town Centre will enable more people to get around on foot, by cycle and by public transport.Working with the community on design
To develop the successful bid, we worked with councillors, officers and the local community to identify their aspirations for the area as well as their concerns about current traffic flows and lack of signalised crossings restricting people’s access to and from Shortlands Station. Results from a survey designed by our Research and Monitoring Unit also enabled Bromley to gather the public’s views on how the streetscape around the station should look in the future.Demonstrating best practice in design
Our extensive community engagement demonstrated significant public support for creating a neighbourhood of Healthy Streets that is attractive, safe and accessible and in line with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. To bring to life examples of top quality street design, we organised a study tour with borough officers to visit some of the best walking and cycling infrastructure in London.
Sustrans London director Matt Winfield said: “I am very proud of the work we have done on this bid with Bromley and its residents who are passionate about this part of their borough. It will enable the borough to create a place where people are at the heart of the design decisions. This is critical to an area’s success as a place where people want to live, work and spend time. With each success, we are building our ability to help boroughs access funding and transform their streets into Liveable Neighbourhoods.
“Good design encourages and enables people to walk and cycle more - great news for everyone’s physical and mental health and for the quality of the air we breathe. Through our study tour, we demonstrated how bold and ambitious design decisions can significantly benefit a community and make an area more sociable, healthy and vibrant. It is wonderful to see this exciting funding opportunity made available to Bromley, allowing the borough to progress with an impressive programme of works over the coming months.
“It’s great to see this funding focus on outer London boroughs because this is where most work is needed to make it easier for people to walk, cycle and use public transport. I’m really pleased to see, in particular, that Enfield, Croydon and Hounslow have been successful, given that we have enjoyed working with these boroughs over the years.”
Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment and Community Services said, “We previously worked with Sustrans to help develop the proposals for our Quietways cycle routes. As part of this proposal, Sustrans have understood the importance of ‘placemaking’ to Bromley residents as part of this proposal alongside improving transport choices. Sustrans worked closely with both the Council’s Transport Professionals and elected Councillors as well as engaging with local stakeholders which was critical in this successful application.”
There will be another round of bidding next year, where other boroughs will be able to come forward with proposals for further Liveable Neighbourhoods funding.
Contact us to help you with accessing funding and delivering top quality collaborative design proposals for Liveable Neighbourhoods.