The Welsh Assembly Government has announced that Sustrans Cymru is one of three successful tenderers to have been awarded a contract to develop sustainable travel initiatives in the principality as part of its Personalised Travel Planning (PTP) initiative.
Sustrans Cymru submitted a joint application with Bristol-based transport research company Socialdata, and the other two businesses to have been engaged under the initiative are transport planning and engineering consultancy JMP Consultants and transport planning consultants Steer Davies Gleave.
With the submission from Sustrans and Socialdata ranking first in the tender process, the Welsh Assembly Government will now work with them to get the initiative started.
Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, who is also acts as Minister for Economy and Transport, commented: “I am pleased to launch this exciting initiative, which will provide valuable research into traffic habits and encourage more sustainable travel patterns.
“Personalised Travel Planning could become an important part of our transport system, challenging all of us to consider how we could benefit from alternative modes of travel other than the private car and contribute to greater accessibility, social inclusion and sustainability.”
Jane Lorimer, Sustrans Cymru Deputy Director, added: “This has the potential to bring about real and sustained change in the way people in Wales travel, which will encourage more active lifestyles, tackle congestion problems and help cut carbon emissions from transport.
"Sustrans has already seen great results from delivering this kind of project elsewhere in the UK, typically seeing a reduction in car trips of around ten per cent."
In a statement, the Welsh Assembly Government says that PTP “seeks to challenge habitual use of the car, enabling more journeys to be made on foot, bike, bus, train or in shared cars.
“This is achieved through the provision of information, incentives, and motivation directly to individuals to help them voluntarily make more informed travel choices. PTP forms an important part of national, regional and local transport policy contributing to the suite of tools promoted under the general heading of Smarter Choices.
The initiative will be rolled out in towns and cities across Wales, with Sustrans working in partnership with local authorities and regional transport consortia, its duties on each PTP contract including marketing and publicity before undertaking an assessment of the local population’s existing travel habits.
That will enable plans to be produced “to provide advice and information on the local alternative and more sustainable modes of transport available to households, together with the motivation to realise change.”
The Welsh Assembly Government says that activities will mainly be focused on, but not confined to, areas where the greatest impact can be achieved.
Those include Cardiff and Mon a Menai, already identified as Sustainable Travel Centres in Wales and benefiting from new public transport and cycling infrastructre.
Commenting on Sustrans’ role in the initiative, Mr Wyn Jones said: “I’m delighted that we will be able to further enhance our relationship with Sustrans, following the many successful years working together on the Safe Routes agenda, and in developing the walking and cycling network.
“This is an issue which affects every person on a daily basis and we are hopeful that introducing people to alternative means of travel will lead to less congestion on our roads, a reduction in carbon emissions and a healthier nation.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.