Kicking the car habit new 3m project will get more people cycling and walking

Kicking the car habit new 3m project will get more people cycling and walking

University of Nottingham News Press releases 2009 September Kicking the car habit - new 3m project will get more people cycling and walking

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The University of Nottingham is joining forces with the city’s biggest institutions in a 3m, two-year project to encourage people to walk and cycle more.

This collaborative project brings together The University of Nottingham, Sustrans — the sustainable transport charity, Nottingham City Council, the Greater Nottingham Transport Partnership, Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. The partnership will combine expertise to promote healthy, sustainable travel — encouraging staff, students and visitors to Nottingham’s universities and the Queen’s Medical Centre to leave their cars at home.

Cycling England will contribute 1m with local partners Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University contributing more than 2m including funding for new infrastructure around and in the city campuses.

The Sustrans research and monitoring team will measure the project’s impact with pedestrian and cycle counts, and surveys of staff and students.

New cycle routes and other facilities will be provided, alongside investment in new services such as bike hire and cycle training. The project will also offer tailor-made information on cycling to thousands of students and staff, together with financial incentives including discounts at cycle stores.

The project office will be based at the University with three out of the five staff accommodated in an office on the University Park campus.

Professor Alan Dodson, the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Environment, said: “This is a really exciting time for sustainable transport in Nottingham. This project builds upon the considerable work and investment that the University has made in cycling infrastructure, and the positive relationships the institution has across the city. It will also complement other developments that have already increased transport choice for our staff and students. This project will not only benefit our own staff and students, but will also help the wider community with improvements to cycling infrastructure across the city.”

Sustrans Regional Director Yvonne Gilligan said: “There is an enormous potential to improve the health of staff and students — and to reduce traffic congestion around universities — by encouraging them to walk or cycle more of their everyday trips.

“Students in Nottingham, as in most university towns and cities, live in close proximity to where they study so there is usually no need to rely on cars to get about. Nottingham is also fortunate to have forward thinking councils, universities and a hospital trust within the strongly supportive Greater Nottingham Transport Partnership plus a good deal of cycle infrastructure already in place.”

Phillip Darnton, Chairman of Cycling England, said: “At Cycling England we are always exploring new ways of getting more people cycling, more safely, more often. This initiative is a great example of how we can help people overcome the barriers to getting on their bikes, as well as creating innovative solutions to encourage existing cyclists to use two wheels as often as possible.

“We hope this programme will be replicated and rolled out in other towns and cities — there are many would-be cyclists out there and by identifying and utilising hubs, such as universities and hospitals, we can reach them and give them the training and encouragement they need to make cycling part of their daily lives.”

Transport and Neighbourhoods portfolio holder at Nottingham City Council Jane Urquhart said: “Adults often don’t see cycling as an option but by setting up bike hire schemes, cycle training and other initiatives you can dispel some of the myths and help people realise the various benefits. People can say to themselves ‘This is something I can do today to help the environment, my own health and my bank balance — and have fun at the same time.’”

More information on the project, which is due to start in October, is available from Gavin Scott, Environmental Manager on +44 (0)115 951 3572, gavin.scott [a] (p) uk

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