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Local sustainable transport schemes are improving economies as well as reducing environmental damage

16 July 2014

A report (1) launched today by Baroness Kramer applauds Local Sustainable Transport Fund projects which have supported local employment and economies whilst also offering good value for public money.

The report was commissioned and funded by the Department for Transport to provide evidence of the role played by sustainable transport in supporting local economies.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “Sustainable transport and active travel help the economy grow and today’s launch drives that message home. Better public transport and improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians help people access jobs, cut congestion and create places where people want to live. Campaign for Better Transport’s report highlights success stories across the country where councils have used the Local Sustainable Transport Fund to make a real difference to their communities. I look forward to sharing this with Local Enterprise Partnerships around the country who will find it helpful in identifying future programmes.”

Twelve case studies of local schemes such as cycling support, car-sharing and reductions in public transport fares show how increasing the range of travel choices available to people, and supporting them to access these, can reduce congestion, encourage active lifestyles and boost the local economy.

Stephen Joseph, chief executive, Campaign for Better Transport, says: “These schemes have a direct impact on people’s lives and communities, for example giving commuters choices for travelling to work that are better for the environment, and expanding the horizons of jobseekers so they can get to interviews.”

Transport is a significant barrier to employment prospects (2). The Nottingham Jobseeker Citycard offers unemployed people half-price multi-operator day tickets and help to hire a bicycle, with support continuing beyond the start of employment. Four of the city’s most deprived wards have the highest number of City Card holders, with an estimated 1.134 million journeys made on public transport by job seekers in the year to March 2014.(3)

Stephen went on: “The beauty of LSTF projects is that, for quite small sums of money, they enable local authorities to develop holistic transport and public realm packages that connect people with jobs, education and improved public spaces. They may not attract the attention that larger, multi-million pound initiatives do, but their impact is much greater than the sum of their parts.”

Campaign for Better Transport, which was involved in the founding of the LSTF in 2011, is calling for Government to recognise the positive outcomes of current projects by protecting the fund into the future.

Stephen said: “The projects we’ve celebrated today are leading to smarter, fairer and more sustainable transport in these communities. It would be a tragedy if other areas couldn’t access the same support because the LSTF was allowed to languish without political backing. Local Enterprise Partnerships and local authorities can learn from these examples to develop similar proposals for the future to get the best value out of local funds for transport and infrastructure projects.”

ENDS

For further information please contact the press office on 020 7566 6483 or 07984 773 468.

For further information please contact Chloë Darlington at Campaign for Better Transport, on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or chloe.darlington@bettertransport.org.uk.

 

Notes to Editors

1. Report ‘Improving local transport helps the local economy – experience from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund’ available to download below. The report is being launched at a parliamentary reception on Wednesday 16th July by Baroness Kramer and Campaign for Better Transport.

2. In a West Midlands survey of unemployed people, 46% said that transport was the main barrier to getting employment and 32% cited it as a barrier to getting to an interview.

3. Nottingham introduced a Jobseeker Citycard Scheme in April 2013 http://www.citycardnottingham.co.uk/get-a-citycard/jobseekerscitycard.html. People who have been unemployed for more than 13 weeks can apply for a Citycard which entitles them to buy half price ‘Kangaroo’ multi-operator day tickets, allowing a day’s unlimited travel for £2 on all the city’s buses, trams and trains. The card remains valid for four weeks after obtaining employment. In addition the card can be used to hire a bicycle for one year for £50 – a discount of £100 on the normal price.