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    7 April 2017

    Proposed reductions in bike space on trains work against a joined-up vision for cycling in Scotland.

    Under the latest proposals, cyclists with bikes on long-distance trains on any other than the first and last station on the route will find spaces halved from four to two.

    Abellio, the franchise holder, had previously indicated that trains would be able to carry 20 bikes. So whilst demand for bike space on trains has been acknowledged, this latest proposal goes against this.

    Sustrans Scotland helps more people choose to walk and cycle. Ensuring there are more spaces for bikes on trains, not less, is key to encouraging passengers to use trains as a way of travelling actively and sustainably over longer journeys without having to rely on a car.

    Whilst bike parking at stations has improved tremendously over the past few years, many commuters not only want to cycle to the station to catch a train, but are keen to get on their bike again at their destination. And long distance trains also have a valuable role to play in cycle tourism, which we recently valued at up to £345 million to the Scottish economy.

    Scotland has a shared ambition for 10% of journeys to be made by bike by 2020, and this is a step in the wrong direction. The opportunity to carry a bike on public transport is key to ensuring sustainable travel is a viable option for travellers for their everyday journeys. 

    It is vital that train operators think more about how their service and facilities can help to achieve the government’s vision for increased cycling across the country.

    Find out more about our bikes on train policy

    Read our tips on combining rail and cycling for your journey

     

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  • 03/31/17--07:10: I Bike Glasgow
  • 31 March 2017
    Rory Coyle I Bike Officer Glasgow

    "I thrive on passing on my own enthusiasm for Physical Activity and Health and believe that cycling and walking" - Rory Coyle I Bike Officer Glasgow

    Rory Coyle is our I Bike Officer for Glasgow. Rory is new to the I Bike Scotland team in 2017, coming from a background in sports coaching and teaching.

    What are you looking forward to most in the role? 

    Schools are really positive and dynamic places to work in, especially as pupils are full of energy and always looking to learn new skill. I thrive on passing on my own enthusiasm for Physical Activity and Health and believe that cycling and walking are fantastic methods of tapping into the curriculum to contribute to a child’s development in a fun and exciting way. Active travel to school also promotes to pupils the value of the environment surrounding them, leaving them with a positive legacy as a future active traveller.

    How are you delivering the project? 

    I’m trying to increase schools' capacity to integrate cycling, scooting and walking into as many areas of the curriculum as possible through the use of fun and accessible activities. Hopefully I’m giving teaching staff the confidence to work with cycling and walking in the future.

    Which schools are you currently working with?

    • Blackfriars Primary School
    • Pollokshields Primary School
    • Langside Primary School
    • St Francis Primary School
    • St Brides Primary School
    • Shawlands Primary School
    • Annette Street Primary School
    • Cuthbertson Primary School
    • Glendale Primary and Gaelic School
    • Holy Cross Primary School
    • Shawlands Academy
    • Holyrood High School

    Contact Rory 

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    19 April 2017
    Commuters in train station

    The survey found that when respondents were asked what would encourage them to use public transport, the most popular answer was “Cheaper fares” (28%)

    The old adage ‘we are what we eat’ could be appropriately amended to ‘we are how we travel’. The latest Travel Survey for Northern Ireland is revealing of the continued dominance of car use - 82% responded to say they travelled to work by car/van, with 80% driving on their own. This is not good news for our health, the environment or for tackling congestion and air pollution.

    Getting active to save money

    So how do we get more people to travel actively or take public transport? The survey found that when respondents were asked what would encourage them to use public transport, the most popular answer was “Cheaper fares” (28%).

    People always want value for money and public transport must remain competitive to attract customers.

    Translink’s '#smartmovers' campaign promotes the fact that the average commuter can save money as there are no fuel, car parking or car maintenance costs to use public transport. The campaign also highlights that the average person who takes the bus or train daily could walk the equivalent of 11 marathons in one year. 

    Health concerns

    The most damning aspect of the survey is the fact that less than two-thirds of people walk at least 20 minutes a week.

    Although some people imagine they are making savings by driving daily, without the recommended amount of exercise each day this can lead to health problems.

    With the cost of the obesity and diabetes epidemic on our overburdened NHS contiuing to grow, switching your commute to incorporate physical exercise such as walking and cycling can help improve health and fitness.

    How we're helping

    There certainly could be more incentives for people to use public transport and travel actively.

    At Sustrans we are working to encourage multi-modal journeys such as cycling to the train station or Park & Ride sites.

    For example, Translink could offer discounts to cyclists especially as car parking at transport hubs is often at capacity. We also need to invest in behaviour change campaigns to highlight the benefits of walking and cycling for everyday journeys such as commuting.

    Find out more about what we're doing to help employee's travel actively in Northern Ireland  

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    20 April 2017

    Data for both walking and cycling makes a strong case for the health benefits of regular exercise.

    One of the largest research projects of its type to date has laid bare the enormous health benefits to people who choose to travel actively to work.

    Research by the University of Glasgow, published in the British Medical Journal, has revealed people who cycle to work have a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of developing heart disease.

    The five –year study of 250,000 people, compared those who had an "active" commute with people who were mostly stationary. 

    And as well as lowering the chances of developing cancer and heart disease, people who walked to work also have a 36% lower risk of dying from heart disease. 

    This is not the first time research has been carried out on the health benefits of cycling. However the size and scale of the study mean the findings are difficult to ignore.

    As a charity that helps people to walk and cycle for more of their everyday journeys, we welcome the study. 

    In particular, we’re pleased to note that the researchers found that once people got into the habit of cycling to work, and it became part of their daily routine, cycling took no willpower - unlike going to the gym.

    Heart disease is still the leading cause of illness and death in Scotland. This places even more stress on the NHS at a time of financial strain. Just the prescription drugs to treat related heart conditions cost Scotland over £100 million every year.

    Given the huge potential savings, we think it would be better if this money could be spent transforming our streets, towns and cities into more liveable, healthy and pleasant environments for people to walk and cycle

    Jason Torrance, Sustrans Head of Policy thinks cycling to work is “a proven way for people to improve their health, to help their local economies and to improve their productivity at work”.

    “There’s an urgent need to improve road conditions for cyclists and transforming local roads and streets into places that people feel safe and want to be,” he says.

    “Some cities are taking a leading role in doing that, like London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff which are doing some fantastic things. But more needs to be done to encourage people to walk and cycle for more of their everyday journeys.” 

    If you live in Scotland, why not consider joining Pedal on Parliament this weekend to show your support for cycling.

    Find out more about the health benefits of walking and cycling.

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    10 May 2017

    We will present our latest work at Europe’s biggest cycling and active travel conference

    We will be one of the special guests at the Cycle City Active City conference, taking place in Bradford on 11 and 12 May 2017. 

    Five delegates will highlight our latest delivery and research projects helping to take walking and cycling in the UK to the next level, through presentations, discussions and interactive workshops.

    Speaking at the conference, our CEO, Xavier Brice will say:

    "When Sustrans was founded 40 years ago, cycling in the UK was a fringe activity in decline; it’s now becoming fashionable, but it’s still not mainstream.

    “In addition to money and political leadership, we need to deliver solutions that make it easier for people to walk and cycle. Delivering solutions that learn from the lessons of the past by combining infrastructure, behaviour change and that involve communities will make us all healthier and happier, and create places over the next 40 years that we are proud to pass onto our children and generations to come.”

    In addition to money and political leadership, we need to deliver solutions that make it easier for people to walk and cycle.

    - Xavier Brice, Sustrans CEO

    Sustrans delegates

    Dr Andy Cope, Director of Insight

    Andy will be chairing a cycling monitoring & evaluation workshop, “Cutting edge techniques and developments to make the case for change,” on Thursday at 10.30am.

    It will look at the most pressing policy questions that monitoring and evaluation can help answer, along with innovative data gathering and using the intelligence for effective influencing.

    Tim Burns, Senior Policy and Partnerships Advisor

    Tim will follow with a presentation about Bike Life, our flagship project, which aims to enable local authorities, city transport planners and wider industry professionals to make the case for everyday cycling in cities.

    Will Haynes, Head of Built Environment

    Will will be running a 30-minute interactive activity, “Replicating Quietways outside London”, as part of a speed learning track, at 3:35pm. It will see participants cycle through a route (viewing a video of the route on a laptop) and then identifying issues and marking these up on an A1 sized map of the route. 

    They will then be encouraged to think about how Quietway-type interventions could be used to overcome these issues and create a new route. This session builds on our groundbreaking work in London, to deliver a network of quiet cycle routes, as part of Transport for London’s cycling and walking programme.

    Xavier Brice, CEO

    Xavier will join an expert panel discussion, “Walking & cycling development: the next level,” on Friday 12 May, 9:30am. He will highlight the pressing need for cycling investment, political leadership and innovative solutions which have community engagement at their heart – all to drive the increasing popularity of cycling.

    Rosslyn Colderley, Director England North

    Rosslyn will present our vital work with schools, “Empowering future generations: engaging the next generation in co-creating the school run and neighbourhoods.” Drawing on examples from Bradford and elsewhere, she will highlight the need for an integrated approach addressing individual, cultural and environmental factors to transform the school run.

    About Cycle City Active City 

    Cycle City Active City is Europe’s biggest cycling and active travel conference bringing together experts in active travel policy, infrastructure design and delivery, behaviour change marketing, public health campaigns and evidence, place-making inspiration.

    Over the two-day event we will be inviting participants to plan their own version of the London Quietway themselves by going on a ‘Go-Pro journey of a local route and suggesting interventions for cycling. There will also be a chance to find out about Sustrans’ new strategy. Find our stand in the Exhibition Hall D3, and follow us at @sustrans.

    View full conference programme

    View speaker biographies

    For further information, interviews and images, please get in touch with:
    Anna Galandzij, Senior Press Officer at Sustrans, anna.galandzij@sustrans.org.uk, 075 5791 5648
    Sarah Roe, Communications & Marketing Officer, sarah.roe@sustrans.org.uk, 07847 372 647

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    15 May 2017

    Sustrans Scotland support 20mph in residential areas

    Sustrans Scotland is encouraging members of the public to respond positively to the consultation on introducing default 20mph speed limits in residential areas across the country.

    20mph speed limits significantly improve safety, reduce traffic noise and make it more appealing for people to walk and cycle, which has numerous additional benefits to society.

    Our National Director John Lauder is urging people to participate. He said: 

    “Sustrans Scotland welcomes the launch of this consultation on Safer Streets. It is well evidenced that people feel safer walking and cycling in 20mph areas.

    "20mph areas help to increase social interactions and physical activity levels, they make it easier for people, particularly children and older people, to cross roads and they reduce traffic noise levels.”

    The Proposed Restricted Roads (20mph Limit) Bill consultation is open until 7 August 2017.

    Have your say on 20mph in Scotland

    Read why we support 20mph limits in Scotland

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    17 May 2017
    A route connecting Bo'ness to Blackness was funded by Community Links Grant money in 2015

    More than £15 million in grant funding has been awarded by active travel charity Sustrans Scotland for the creation of walking and cycling infrastructure in Scotland over the next year.

    A total of 44 organisations including, local authorities, housing associations, National Parks and Community Trusts are set to be awarded grants, from the Sustrans Scotland administered Community Links programme, which is funded by Transport Scotland.
     
    The 225 successful applications include bold initiatives to overcome significant barriers to pedestrians and cyclists, such as dangerous junctions and busy roads. Once completed, they will make it easier for people to walk and cycle for more of their everyday journeys. 
     
    And, as all projects are required to be match funded against the allocation from Sustrans – a further £15 million will also be invested into active travel projects through the programme. 
     
    Humza Yousaf MSP, Minister for Transport and the Islands, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to increasing active travel rates.
     
    “Since 2010, more than £100m has been invested in the Community Links programme providing grant funding for over 700 cycling and walking projects. 
     
    “The applications demonstrate real innovation and enthusiasm to deliver improved and innovative environments for walking and cycling to take place in Scotland.”
     
    Daisy Narayanan, Deputy Director, Built Environment at Sustrans Scotland said: “The high quality of the applications to our Community Links programme, demonstrates the continued commitment from current and new partners to creating safe and accessible walking and cycling routes across the country. 
     
    “We have worked hard to carefully select those of the highest quality to fund and we look forward to working with all our partners to ensure the successful delivery of their projects.”  
     

    Community Links funding In Glasgow

    One of the projects receiving Sustrans Scotland Community Links funding is a segregated cycle path which will connect Speirs Warf and the Forth and Clyde Glasgow National Cycle Network Route (Route 754) and the cycle routes at the east-end of Glasgow, through the Sighthill regeneration master plan. 
     
    The traffic-free path will improve the route from the future Mini Holland, Cowcaddens and the ‘Metal Petals’ underpass to Port Dundas ultimately to the east of the City Centre over the proposed new pedestrian and cycling bridge over the M8. 
     
    The project, which is being carried out in partnership with Glasgow City Council, forms part of the multimillion pound regeneration projects of Port Dundas by Glasgow City Council. This will see up to 600 new homes and new commercial spaces and aims to encourage people to cycle for more of their everyday journeys. 
     
    Sustrans has awarded the council a provisional grant of £25,145 for the project with up to £251,455 being granted upon provision of a programme of works and detailed designs.
     

    Community Links funding In Arbroath

    The Accessible Arbroath proposal by Angus Council, will also receive funding through Community Links. The project, which has been awarded £50,000 will look to address the issue of the A92 (Burnside Drive) which currently runs through the town. The funding will enable the council to undertake community consultations, feasibility studies and provisional designs on how the impact of the A92 dual carriage way can be reduced. 
     
    The council will also look at how safe and clear walking and cycling routes can be introduced to the town to help encourage residents and visitors to walk and cycle for more of their everyday journeys.  
     

    Community Links funding In Kirkintilloch

    Hillhead Housing Association has also been awarded funding to develop a cycle route along the south bank of the Forth and Clyde Canal in Kirkintilloch.
     
    The route, which will stretch from Tintock Tunnel in the east, to Banks Road, Hillhead in the west, and will allow easy access to the National Cycle Network and help attract cyclists and walkers to the area. 
     
    The project will see close engagement with local residents, businesses and schools and the community has already been very enthusiastic with the proposals suggested, as it will help make local attractions such as the Campsie Fells more accessible.
    Sustrans has provisionally awarded the project £307,330 if matched funding is secured. 
     
    Claire Taylor, Chairperson from Hillhead Housing Association added: “The canal forms an important part of our local heritage and environment. As such we are keen that access to it is maximised to its full potential. 
     
    “Creating this path along the south bank of this stretch of waterway will encourage local residents and visitors alike to take advantage of increased opportunities for walking and cycling in our local area.”
     

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    22 May 2017
    cyclist on cycle path

    The creation of high quality infrastructure, such as the South West City Way in Glasgow, would help reduce the number of cycle collisions

    Sustrans Scotland is calling for improved cycling infrastructure at junctions, after research has revealed that roundabouts and T-junctions are the main cycle collision hotspots in Scotland.

    Cycle safety and collision hotspots  

    The findings, published by Sustrans’ Scottish Research Programme, are set to be presented at the Scottish Transport Applications and Research (STAR) Conference in Glasgow on Wednesday (24 May).

    The paper titled "Cycling Safety in Scotland, Cycle Collision Hotspots", identified locations which had a relatively high number of collisions, compared to the level of cycling activity in the area, between 2005 and 2014. 

    It also assessed the severity of cyclist causalities at each location and scored this against the population size in each area and the number of people in the vicinity who had reported they cycled to work in the 2011 Census.

    Safety concerns highlight the importance of high-quality infrastructure  

    Out of the top 20 ranked locations for cycle collisions in Scotland, the research found that 19 of the incidents occurred at a junction or within 20 meters of one.

    Roundabouts appeared most frequently for cycling collisions, in eight of the 20 hotspot locations, whilst seven of the locations were at T or staggered junctions. 

    Commenting on the findings John Lauder, Sustrans Scotland National Director said:

    “Safety is often cited as the main reason why people don’t cycle for more of the journeys they make every day. This research highlights the importance of having high-quality cycling infrastructure in place at junctions, so that collisions can be prevented. 

    "We know that better cycle infrastructure increases the feeling of safety and ultimately the number of people on bikes. Through our Community Links, Street Design and National Cycle Network funding, which is provided by Transport Scotland, Sustrans helps to ensure this happens. 

    Put quite simply: the more people in a place who cycle, the safer it becomes for everyone.

    - John Lauder, Sustrans Scotland National Director

    Findings from the report 

    Although the report found that Edinburgh recorded the locations with the highest number of cycle collisions over the nine-year period, once researchers took into account the relative number of cyclists in an area and the severity of the collisions, they found that a greater number of hotspots were based in or around greater Glasgow. 

    This was because even though the greater Glasgow area had a higher urban population, the proportion of people who cycled to work was low in comparison. 

    This highlights the fact that in areas where cycling is more popular, the risk of collisions occurring decreases. Research suggests that doubling cycling leads to a reduction in the risks of cycling by around a third, partly because drivers have increased awareness of people on bikes and because an area is more likely to have cycling infrastructure.

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    We do our best to make cycling safer for communities across Scotland

    Safety is often cited as the main reason why people don’t cycle for more of the journeys they make every day.

    And the recent findings on Scotland’s cycle collision hotspots, only serve to highlight the importance of having high quality infrastructure in place at junctions, so that collisions can be prevented.

    The report published by Sustrans’ Scottish Research Programme, found that out of the top 20 ranked locations for cycle collisions in Scotland, 19 of the incidents occurred at a junction or within 20 meters of one.

    Roundabouts were where collisions most frequently occurred, appearing in eight of the 20 hotspot locations, whilst seven of the locations were at T or staggered junctions. 

    What this research shows is that it’s clear that junctions are an area of conflict for cyclists. 

    What we are doing to improve safety

    Our Community Links and National Cycle Network funding programmes are helping to redesign some of the key collision hotspots in Scotland, including the B901 / London Street roundabout and the A7 / Craigmillar Castle Road both in Edinburgh, with feasibility and design studies are currently underway in both areas.

    And we are aware that there are other Local Authorities are also undertaking similar feasibility studies for dangerous junctions in their areas. However, there is far more which needs to be done, to ensure that junctions are safe for all who use them.

    Better cycle infrastructure increases perception of safety

    We do our best to make cycling safer for communities across Scotland and work closely with our partners' help to build simple, safe and convenient connections which encourage people to make more trips by bike or by foot. 

    And through our work in schools and workplaces, we also deliver Bikeability cycle training to help people gain practical skills and understand how to cycle on today’s roads.

    Research has found that once walking and cycling levels double in a particular area, the risks associated with the activity fall by around a third. This is attributed partly to drivers having an increased awareness of people on bikes and partly to an area being more likely to have cycling infrastructure.

    Providing high-quality infrastructure for cyclists alongside behaviour change programmes, will help to foster an environment in Scotland where cycling is seen as the default option for commuters across the country. 

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