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East Inverness School Pupils Help Their Community To Travelsmart (03/12/08)
Issued By Sustrans
Walking, cycling and public transport use have rocketed in Inverness after local school pupils urged family and friends to take advantage of an innovative sustainable travel project.
Some 1,500 homes in East Inverness were offered tailored help to travel more actively as part of Scotland’s first TravelSmart Individualised Travel Marketing (ITM) project, led by Sustrans, the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity. Sustrans and its partner organisation Socialdata, with support from The Highland Council, worked with Junior Road Safety Officers from four local primary schools. These volunteer pupils wrote to households in their catchments asking them to reduce their car use and travel more by bike, on foot and by public transport. TravelSmart advisors then followed up with phone calls offering personalised sustainable travel information packs, rewards and incentives. Contact was made with 94 per cent of households in the target area, leading to significant changes in travel behaviour.
A detailed evaluation showed that the TravelSmart ITM campaign achieved substantial increases in walking, cycling and use of public transport. At the same time there were relative reductions in car trips of 13 per cent, and in car distances travelled for day-to-day trips of 7 per cent (a net saving of 0.9 million car km per year among the target population). The shift from car travel to walking, cycling and public transport also resulted in a 14 per cent increase in average daily exposure to physically active forms of travel.
This week lead officers from Scottish Government and local authorities will attend a masterclass with sustainable travel practitioners to inform the ‘Smarter Places, Smarter Choices’ programme of Scottish sustainable travel communities. James Ryle, Sustrans’ Director of Projects and Innovation, will present results of the East Inverness TravelSmart project to share its success and the lessons learned from the work.
Sustrans’ Scotland Director John Lauder explains the significance of the Inverness work: “This TravelSmart project was a milestone for Sustrans, as it was the first of its kind in Scotland. It was also the first TravelSmart project with such close involvement from schools. We are indebted to Ailsa Villegas and Lisa MacKellaich of The Highland Council Road Safety Department who coordinated school contributions, and to the pupils and their teachers who worked so hard to achieve these results. Having artwork from pupils to illustrate the local sustainable travel maps and other materials was a great way to make the project more engaging for local people, and the success in reducing car use and promoting active travel is testament to the value of this type of partnership.”
The East Inverness TravelSmart project was managed by Sustrans, Socialdata and The Highland Council. The ITM campaign and evaluation were designed and implemented by Sustrans and Socialdata, as part of a national school travel programme managed by Sustrans and funded by Scottish Government Tackling the School Run funding. In addition, in-kind contributions were provided by The Highland Council towards the development and supply of marketing materials and in staff time to support the project.
Further information about Sustrans including other news releases is available through our website: www.sustrans.org.uk