26 January 2017

£1.5m transport grant will help people get into work

Almost £1.5m of government funding has been won by Brighton & Hove City Council for a three-year programme to encourage people to use healthier, more eco-friendly transport.

The idea is to promote travel which improves air quality, reduces congestion and improves physical and mental health. 

One of the projects funded is ‘personalised travel planning’.  This technique, involves travel advisors making contact with individuals that may find the costs of travelling to work, education and training prohibitive.  It offers advice and support on sustainable travel options.  Advisors are also able to direct individuals to other support services as required, by working closely with other agencies.

It is anticipated around 10,000 people a year will be reached by the scheme, working with residents, businesses and schools.  It will also help promote the forthcoming Brighton Bike Share project, launched later this year, adding a projected 10 per cent more users.

The £1.485m grant comes from the Government’s Access Fund for Sustainable Travel. 

The project will have a focus on removing some of the barriers which can prevent people from getting a job and accessing skills training.

With over £1bn of investment expected along the seafront in the coming years, with further developments taking place across the city, the project will work with residents, employees, students and visitors to access new employment and leisure opportunities in active and healthy ways.  By supporting people to choose alternatives to the car the project will reduce carbon emissions and encourage more active travel through walking and cycling.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “This funding recognises the council’s commitment to helping families, workers, students and visitors to choose travel options other than the car. This in turn reduces congestion, improves bus journey times and brings health benefits along with cleaner air for everyone in Brighton & Hove.  The project will help people to access work and training, which will contribute to the local economy, and make Brighton & Hove a successful and prosperous city as we move into the 2020’s.”

The city’s Acting director of public health Peter Wilkinson said:  “This award is great news for the health and wellbeing of our residents. As well as supporting access to employment and education, it will help Brighton & Hove to be a more active city. Promoting walking and cycling as an easy option will have benefits not only for physical health, but also for mental health and wellbeing.”

Over the three years, the council’s travel team will be:

* Giving people the opportunity to have their own personal travel plans
* Helping businesses, schools and universities with travel planning for work and study
* Offering those on low incomes the opportunity to build and keep a bike
* Offering adult cycling and bike maintenance training
* Campaigning on road safety and offer ‘Safer Urban Driving’ courses for drivers of goods and passenger vehicles
* Supporting the roll-out and promotion of the ‘Brighton Bike Share’ scheme.

The Brighton & Hove Access for Sustainable Travel Project is being funded by the Department for Transport, with money ring-fenced for local sustainable transport projects.  It cannot be spent on other things in the city.  The council successfully bid for the funding in a competitive process which was open to all transport authorities in England, excluding London.

Click here for a useful article on the principles of personalised travel planning.