- 17 May 2019
, , , , ,
Travelling in an environment with no congestion or air pollution may seem like a far-fetched desire but Cardiff's Car Free Day is proof that it doesn’t have to be.
Cardiff’s Car Free Day, which took place on 12 May, allowed people to experience what the city centre could look and feel like if active travel was prioritised over motor transport. People were encouraged to socialise, play and exercise in a space that is usually dominated by traffic, pollution and noise.
By taking over a part of the city that is normally taken up with cars, congestion and exhaust fumes, Cardiff city centre was transformed into a space where there was space to walk, cycle, scoot and enjoy the quiet, clean city.
“ We want to see the council pedestrianising the entire city centre, allowing access for busses and traders but essentially restricting cars from coming into the city centre. This will improve the environment for everyone and will make Cardiff a cleaner, healthier and better place to be. ”- Steve Brooks, director of Sustrans Cymru.
Steve Brooks, director of Sustrans Cymru said:
“Over reliance on the car is damaging our health, harming our environment and hurting our economy.
“Events like Cardiff Car Free Day are fantastic, but we want to see more.
“Cardiff Council pedestrianised Queen Street in the 1970’s and we had to wait another thirty years for them to pedestrianise the High Street.
“We want to see the council pedestrianising the entire city centre, allowing access for busses and traders but essentially restricting cars from coming into the city centre. This will improve the environment for everyone and will make Cardiff a cleaner, healthier and better place to be.”
Cardiff Council has been undertaking a detailed study into air quality across the city, and are rolling out a plan of work which will aim to bring the levels of air pollution within legal limits in the quickest time possible, this work is a result of a legal challenge by Client Earth.Find out more about Clean Air Cardiff
- 17 May 2019
This year’s Sustrans Big Pedal, the UK’s largest cycling, scooting and walking competition for schools, saw a record 3.8 million journeys made by bike, foot or scooter as children and parents ditched their cars for their journey to and from school.
The largest number of pupils took part in the 10-day challenge to date, with 559,629 participants walking, scooting or cycling the equivalent of 11.9 million miles – that’s 50 trips to the moon and back or 480 trips around the world.
Forty of the participating schools, working with Sustrans and their local authority, trialled School Streets where they closed their streets to motor vehicles during pick up and drop off times, to create a safer, car-free environment for families to cycle, walk and scoot.
Overall the number of sustainable trips prevented 4.7 million car journeys, saving parents an estimated £1.6 million on petrol.
Xavier Brice, Sustrans for CEO, said: “This year’s Big Pedal saw the highest number of pupils and parents take part since we first launched the competition back in 2010. This is a fantastic achievement, which tells us that children want to cycle, scoot and walk to school.
“It also demonstrates there’s a growing public awareness of the effects of motor emissions and the role more walking and cycling can play in reducing them. But to make it easier for parents and pupils to continue travel by bike and foot, the roads outside schools need to feel safe. One of the best ways to do this is by making streets outside the school gates car free.
“That’s why we are calling on national governments to support local authorities to enforce School Streets and implement clean air legislation to tackle motorised traffic, including large-scale investment in walking and cycling.”
Claudine Richardson, Bike It Champion at St Richard Reynolds Catholic College said: “We decided to take part in the Big Pedal this year as a survey of our students revealed that air pollution and congestion outside the school gate was a big concern.
“During the competition we saw a huge surge in the number of pupils walking, scooting or cycling to school and this has continued even after the challenge. It is fantastic to see the pupils come in so energised in the morning after a brisk walk or cycle.”
The 10-day challenge saw more than 1,682 schools take part in the competition.
The switch to an active journey to school burnt over 226 million calories in total, which is the equivalent of 936,704 donuts.
Currently almost a third (28%) of all children aged two to 15 in England are overweight or obese and half of seven-year-olds are not getting the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity . Walking, scooting or cycling to school could play a key role in helping children get their recommended hour of physical activity a day and enable them to maintain a healthy weight.
Organised by Sustrans, and sponsored by Micro Scooters and Tonik Energy, the Big Pedal, which took place from 25 March to 5 April 2019, is the largest inter-school cycling, walking and scooting competition of its kind in the UK.See the results of the Big Pedal competition
- 16 May 2019
The popular ‘Bikes and Boats’ Festival inspired by Ellesmere Port’s bike carnivals of the 1900s, will be back on Sunday 26 May for the third year running.
The fun-packed day, which is organised by us and the National Waterways Museum, includes a decorated boat-themed bike ride from Whitby Park to the National Waterways Museum, with a send-off by Ellesmere Port brass band. There will also be a Mini Bikes & Boats in Whitby Park for youngsters on scooters and stabilisers.
The National Waterways Museum will offer free admission on the Festival day, with donkey rides from the Museum and a packed programme of bike and boat activities, including traditional swing boats, traditional games such as hook a duck, beat the buzzer, craft activities, hoola hooping and a quiz trail.
The National Cycle Museum will have a display of vintage bikes and there will be a competition for the best dressed bikes. On Saturday 25 May, there will be a bike decorating workshop and a ‘Dr Bike’ session at the monthly community café in the National Waterways Museum to help get bikes ready to ride and ‘blinged’ up for the festival.
Our Community Street Designer, Ali Dore, said: “The Bikes and Boats Festival recreates the spirit of Ellesmere Port’s bike carnivals and celebrates the town’s rich boat heritage.
"The National Waterways Museum will offer free entry on the day and this year we’re excited to include old fashioned fairground swing boats and donkey rides, so it will be a fun day out for all the family!
"This is a great chance to try out cycling on the National Cycle Network through the town and along the canal. Please find us on facebook at Sustrans North West and sign up.”
We have been working with the local community in Ellesmere Port for three years to help identify ways to improve public spaces and encourage more walking and cycling. Route 563 of the National Cycle Network (NCN) links Ellesmere Port to the canal and the National Waterways Museum.
The Ellesmere Port Community Places project is based on a concept first developed on the streets of New York. Our community street designers use simple ideas such as pop-up outdoor cafes, plants and temporary art installations to calm roads and encourage people to reclaim the streets as public spaces for community events, walking and cycling.
Ellesmere Port Community Places project is funded by the Peoples’ Health Trust using money raised by HealthFit.To participate, you need to register for the Bike and Boats event in Whitby Park Find out more about Sustrans Community Street design project in Ellesmere Port Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with Sustrans North West!
- 16 May 2019
The Isle of Man Government has launched an Active Travel Investment Plan, developed by us, to highlight priority routes for cycling and walking.
We were commissioned by the Isle of Man Government as part of a £3.8million Active Travel programme to boost the numbers of people cycling and walking to over 20% by 2021 (compared to 14% in 2011).
The plan, which was developed in partnership with local communities, focuses on a 2.5 mile radius of Douglas town centre with around 35% of the island’s population. It recommends the development of walking and cycling routes along the river valley and promenade, linking up new and existing routes between Douglas and the surrounding communities.
The proposed network will include the existing traffic-free Heritage Trail, which is currently being upgraded to a multi-user path. There will also be continued development of cycling on the promenade in Douglas, with improved links to adjoining roads.
We highlighted the need for a major cycling route through Douglas towards Noble’s Park, leading to Onchan, as well as smaller measures, such as traffic calming, improved signage, dropped kerbs and pedestrian crossings, to make it easier for more people to walk and cycle.What they said:
Rosslyn Colderley, our Director in the North of England, said: “The Active Travel Investment Plan is the start of an exciting journey to help make it easier for more people to walk and cycle on the Isle of Man.
We have assessed the road networks and communities around Douglas to find out the areas where we can have the most impact to increase travel by foot or bicycle. Now the next stage is to discuss our proposed routes and facilities with local people, work with them to tackle any issues on the ground and help inspire long term change to active travel.”
The Isle of Man Government launched the island’s first Active Travel Strategy in July last year.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer said: “A lot of work has taken place since Sustrans were commissioned last year to use their experience and expertise in this area and produce an Active Travel Investment Plan.
“This document highlights the most effective way to enable people in and around Douglas to walk and cycle to work and school. A number of routes have been identified and prioritised and will inform how funds should be committed to make effective changes to the way we move around.”
Research for the plan included workshops and discussions with local community groups and computer modelling work to assess peoples’ ‘propensity to cycle’, assessing the area’s topography, numbers of commuter journeys between key locations, and existing levels of active travel commuting. The plan is based on the UK Department for Transport’s Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans which help foster a long term approach in increasing walking and cycling for travel.What happens next?
The next steps include further engagement with local communities to help identify current barriers to people travelling actively to work and school. As part of the Active Travel programme, we have also appointed two new officers who will work directly with local businesses, schools and communities to encourage more people to travel by foot or bicycle.Find out more about our work on the Isle of Man or visit the Isle of Man Government website and Infrastructure Facebook page.
- 13 May 2019
Belcycle is back. Belfast’s family-friendly festival dedicated to all things cycling will take place on Saturday 15 June at CS Lewis Square in east Belfast. Be inspired to get on your bike – whatever your age or ability and join in the FREE festival.
There will be bikes of all shapes and sizes to test ride on the day including tandems, a side-by-side bike and balance bikes. You can join in activities such as children’s cycle training, including the ever-popular ‘Ditch the Stabilisers’ sessions. There will also be bike maintenance workshops to help you deal with punctures, as well as led rides, giant outdoor games and a slow bike race.
Pick up advice and tips from local cycling retailers on bikes, clothing and accessories, as well as information on cycling adventures, holidays, clubs and events. There will be lots of competitions and spot prizes and no festival would be complete without some tasty food and refreshments including a BBQ.
Ashley Hunter, Sustrans Northern Ireland Director said: “This is a fun festival for all the family focusing on cycling. Leisure and commuting cycling has increased across Belfast with more people realising not only the health and environmental benefits of cycling but also how convenient, cheap and fun it is to travel by bike.
“We know that 71% of residents say Belfast would be a better place to live and work if more people cycled which is why our work to encourage more people to cycle is so important. Events like Belcycle bring people together, to celebrate all things cycling.”
CS Lewis Square is the ideal location for the festival as it is where the Comber and Connswater Community Greenways intersect. The square is also home to Sustrans Active Travel Hub, an EU-funded CHIPS project that encourages commuters in east Belfast to try alternatives to the car such as public transport, or cycling and walking. Sustrans will be at the Festival to offer travel advice, route planning, cycle training and fun pedal-powered activities such as a bike smoothie-maker and paint-spinner.
So bring your family, friends and a picnic for a free fun-filled day that will keep the whole family entertained.
Belcycle will run from 11am to 3pm on Saturday 15 June at CS Lewis Square, east Belfast. There will be a provision of on-site cycle parking and it is well connected to the city centre by bus or Glider from the nearby Newtownards Road.Find out more about Belcycle and how to get involved
- 9 May 2019
Sustrans Cymru welcomes the announcement made on 9 May 2019 by the Welsh Government that there will be an increase in active travel funding in Wales.
We have been calling for a long term investment plan in active travel and are pleased with today’s announcement as another step in the right direction. We have previously warned that Wales was underinvesting in walking and cycling, and compared the slow pace of progress in Wales against spending in Scotland where £16 per person per year is invested.
However, last year, Welsh Government announced an extra £60million over three years to improve infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists – a move warmly welcomed by Sustrans.
“ Wales’ over-reliance on the car is damaging our health, harming our environment and hurting our economy. We are delighted to see further investment which will fix pavements, make crossings safer and build new cycle paths separated from traffic. ”- Steve Brooks, Director of Sustrans Cymru.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Steve Brooks director of Sustrans Cymru said:
“Wales’ over-reliance on the car is damaging our health, harming our environment and hurting our economy. Sustrans is delighted to see further investment which will fix pavements, make crossings safer and build new cycle paths separated from traffic.
“Whilst money is important, it’s not the only answer. We need to ensure that this additional investment is spent wisely. We know that when councils cut corners and roll out quick fixes, it’s pedestrians and cyclists who suffer. That’s why we welcome Lee Waters’ emphasis on funding quality schemes.”Find out more about our work in Wales
- 8 May 2019
Sustrans Cymru has welcomed an announcement from Welsh Government that speed limits on Welsh residential streets will be reviewed. In a question from Welsh Conservative AM David Melding, the first minister Mark Drakeford announced a special Welsh Government taskforce would be set up with local councils to look at how 20 mph zones could be rolled out in residential areas.
Sustrans welcomed the cross party support in the Assembly and urged ministers to press on with its plans. Sustrans supports lowering the default speed limit on urban streets to 20mph, arguing the move would make Welsh roads safer.
Currently the default speed limit on streets in built-up areas is 30mph, and last year powers to alter the rules were devolved to Wales. Campaigners, including Sustrans, have called on ministers to use their news powers and implement a lower, safer speed limit in Welsh towns and cities.
“ Sustrans warmly welcomes the cross-party support for the Welsh Government review. Evidence shows that where lower speed limits have been introduced, there has been a significant fall in road causalities. ”- Steve Brooks, National Director Wales, UK Policy & Public Affairs Director.
Welcoming the news, Steve Brooks, director of Sustrans Cymru said:
“The thought of your child being hit by a car is every parent’s nightmare, yet we know we could make Welsh roads safer if we reduce the speed limit on our residential streets.
“The grim reality is that if you’re hit by a driver travelling at 30mph you’re 5 times more likely to die than if the driver was going at 20 . That’s why the government’s own independent public health advisors back this move”.
“Sustrans warmly welcomes the cross-party support for the Welsh Government review. Evidence shows that where lower speed limits have been introduced, there has been a significant fall in road causalities. A recent study in Bristol showed a 40% drop in casualties, with the biggest fall amongst the number of children being killed or seriously injured.” .
Notes to editors
1. Rosén, E. et al. (2011) ‘Literature review of pedestrian fatality risk as a function of car impact speed’, Accident Analysis and Prevention, 43: 25-33.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Sara Jones on email@example.com or 07376 365 222
- 8 May 2019
We have moved our London offices across the capital from Farringdon to Tower Hamlets by electric cargo bikes, in an exciting step for us as we focus on our 2019 goals, including an overhaul of the National Cycle Network.Cargo bikes are the way to
With London-based company, Pedal Me, we carefully stacked the bike trailers, securing them tightly for the journey to our new home.
We moved all equipment and belongings for our 53 strong London-based workforce sustainably, a distance of 2.7 miles across the capital. Using electric cargo bikes we transported a 117kg printer, 100 storage boxes, 50 crates full of IT equipment, three cupboards and two smoothie bikes.Working with Tower Hamlets
Our move brings a significant brand to the borough along with a committed and experienced team who focuses on making streets better for everyone, and making it easier for people to walk and cycle for everyday journeys.
Relocating to Tower Hamlets builds on our strong relationship with the borough over many years of working together. Tower Hamlets is the first London Borough to take part in our Bike Life study, the UK’s largest programme of research into attitudes to cycling across the country. The borough also works with us on initiatives to make streets safer and encourage cycling and walking for everyday journeys within schools, creating young cycling ambassadors throughout the borough.Pushing for change and a healthier, happier city
Recent achievements we are proud to have been part of in London are; helping deliver 110km of Quietways cycling and walking routes as Transport for London’s delivery agent, unlocking huge potential in Bromley for liveable neighbourhood funding, working on ambitious cycling and walking designs with Greenwich, and launching a London-wide action plan to improve the National Cycle Network.Matt Winfield, Sustrans London Director, said:
“We’re delighted to have moved to Tower Hamlets, a borough with great potential for cycling and walking. Our office move here using cargo bikes just goes to prove it is possible to relocate the contents of a sizeable workplace in a busy capital city like London, in a way that is environmentally sound.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our exciting work, empowering communities across London to create happier places.”
The charity’s move is welcomed by Tower Hamlets, complementing their own commitment to walking and cycling.Cllr Kyrsten Perry, Tower Hamlets Cycling Champion said:
“It’s fantastic that Sustrans has chosen Tower Hamlets to be its new home. We welcome the charity with open arms as a major player in making London a place that is safer and healthier to travel around by bike and on foot.
“We know Sustrans well, having worked with them on projects that make streets work better for everyone and in schools across the borough, where they help get children thinking about air quality, health and being more active in their daily lives. We’re also very excited and proud to be the first London borough to be part of Sustrans’ Bike Life initiative, the UK’s biggest survey on attitudes to cycling.
“We, as a council, have lots to look forward to as we continue to work with Sustrans in borough and I am sure Sustrans’ London team will enjoy being part of their new local community with all the vibrancy that Tower Hamlets has to offer.”Get in touch
We’re now at 244-254 Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9DA.
Tel: 020 7017 2350
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgFind out more about our work in London
- 2 May 2019
On Wednesday 1 May 2019 MPs passed a motion making the UK Parliament declare an “environment and climate emergency”.
Welcoming the announcement, Dr Andy Cope, Director of Insight at Sustrans, said:
“We are very pleased Parliament has declared an environment and climate emergency.
“This declaration calls for urgent and quick action on carbon emissions, including transport, which is the only sectoral source from which emissions continue to grow.
"If we're serious about achieving the zero-carbon target, now it is the time to increase walking and cycling and reduce the car use.
“Energy consumption and emissions from transport are influenced not only by technical efficiency and mode choice but also by lifestyle choices and socio-economic factors. To make it easy and attractive for people across the UK to choose active and cleaner ways to travel for everyday journeys, we need cross-government action and large-scale investment in walking and cycling.”See our evidence submission to a Scottish Parliament Commission on Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill
For further information and interviews, please contact:
- 1 May 2019
One of our long standing volunteers in Harrogate has been awarded a British Empire Medal for his services to cycling.
Malcolm Margolis attended the medal presentation on 9 April with his wife Gia, at Camp Hill, the home of the current Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner, who presented him with the award.
He was one of seven award recipients to attend the ceremony, which was followed by afternoon tea and cakes with Jo Ropner, who is herself a keen cycling advocate.
Malcolm has been a volunteer since 2006 and was instrumental in campaigns to develop the Nidderdale Greenway, from Harrogate to Ripley. The popular five-mile traffic-free cycling and walking route runs from North Harrogate, through Bilton, Ripley and Clint and links to the Way of the Roses.
He worked tirelessly to attract support for the route from local businesses, councils and communities and continues to support us to develop the route a further 22 miles as far as Scar House reservoir, helping raise £17,000 so we could conduct a feasibility study. He is currently campaigning against plans to develop two bypasses which will cut through the Nidderdale Greenway and the wildlife-rich Nidd Gorge.
Malcolm also founded the Harrogate-based cycling group Wheel Easy, with Gia, and he has been a long term campaigner to develop cycle routes on The Stray, a 200-acre park in the centre of Harrogate, where cycling was forbidden. He is an active member of the Harrogate District Cycle Forum.
Malcolm says: "It was a huge honour to receive the medal along with six other champions of their local communities, and a wonderful ceremony which my wife Gia and I will never forget. A big surprise was to discover that the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner, who presented our medals, cycles around 5,000 miles a year, including tough challenges in the UK, and stages of the Tour de France. Altogether, an impressive lady!”
Mike Babbitt, Head of Network Development for Sustrans for the North of England said: “Malcolm is a fantastic advocate of walking and cycling for Harrogate and his efforts have been invaluable to our work. He helped us and local authority partners to develop routes and garnered support from a wide range of people.
“He is a very positive and tenacious individual who has inspired many people about the value of active travel and he continues to campaign tirelessly. If you visit the Nidderdale Greenway look out for the portrait bench which features Malcolm, as part of our series of artworks along the National Cycle Network celebrating local people.”Interested in volunteering with us? Find out more about our volunteer programme