£750,000 to help us get from A to B

This Is Wiltshire: Travel Choices staff Quentin Gaullier and Marcus Walker-Loveridge hand out leaflets Travel Choices staff Quentin Gaullier and Marcus Walker-Loveridge hand out leaflets

THE Government has given Swindon £750,000 help regenerate the town centre by boosting the travel options available to people.

Swindon Travel Choices is a council-run project aimed at improving the town centre by offering improved means of travel.

It has been given the money by the Department of Transport. The Government funding will be supplemented by a £670,000 package of sustainable transport schemes. This will be funded through the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) Local Growth fund, which will contribute £534,000, while £136,000 will be put forward from the Local Transport Plan (LTP) grant, which comes from central government and must be spent on local highways and transport schemes.

The money will be spent in three separate areas, the first to encourage college and sixth form students to use sustainable forms of transport by running a series of Personalised Travel Planning (PTPs) measures and making public transport, walking and cycling more visible and more attractive to them.

PTPs educate people about the choices available and encourage them to make lifestyle changes.

Secondary and primary school students will also be targeted with money for school travel advisors, road safety officers and partners at Sustrans to broaden their programmes of learning.

Young Active Travel Ambassadors will also be recruited to promote sustainable travel to their peers, while incentives such as travel passes will be used to encourage students to take part in the project and try sustainable travel.

The Salvation Army’s social enterprise ReCycles and the local Bicycle Users Group will also be involved, offering cycle training, cycle maintenance and guided rides.

A realtime bus app for mobile phones, specifically for students, will be developed and a travel information pack will also be created for new sixth form and college starters.

The second focus will be on improving travel routes around the Wichelstowe development. The cash will be used to try to reduce the number of car journeys in the area, which will see 4,500 homes built in coming years.

The third element of the project will be aimed at encouraging sustainable travel, raising aspirations and promoting active lifestyles in a number of neighbourhoods in Swindon by using the ambassadors, befrienders and champions, plus carrying out a door-to-door PTP approach.

The government grant comes after last week’s announcement that millions of pounds of investment is to be spent on infrastructure projects.

Coun Dale Heenan (Con, Covingham and Dorcan) the cabinet member for transport, said: “July is turning out to be a great month in terms of the Government recognising Swindon.

“First, we secured over £40m for key upgrades to our roads, and now a total of £1.5m will be pledged to encourage local residents and students to use buses, cycle and walk as an alternative to cars.

“The evidence from our approach in West Swindon has shown that it does work. On average the residents who take part in the Personal Travel Planning scheme reduce their car travel by 12 miles per week, and walk 36 minutes more.

“They also use the bus and cycle as alternatives.

“These are car journeys that no longer happen, removing vehicles from Swindon’s roads and helping to tackle congestion before it happens.”

Comments (10)

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7:58am Thu 17 Jul 14

Chowmai says...

Get a circular bus route! Its ridiculous that to go from Cricklade road to asda, or Stratton or by bus one has to go into town and then back out again. A decent town circular bus route that 'crossroads' with other services would greatly help the commuter to work.
Get a circular bus route! Its ridiculous that to go from Cricklade road to asda, or Stratton or by bus one has to go into town and then back out again. A decent town circular bus route that 'crossroads' with other services would greatly help the commuter to work. Chowmai
  • Score: 12

9:26am Thu 17 Jul 14

Sandor Clegane says...

£1.5 million in order to try and convince people to use public transport?

Surely one of the most pointless wastes of money we've seen in quite some time.

Still, somebody's going to walk away making a literal fortune out of it.
£1.5 million in order to try and convince people to use public transport? Surely one of the most pointless wastes of money we've seen in quite some time. Still, somebody's going to walk away making a literal fortune out of it. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 6

9:45am Thu 17 Jul 14

jonelway says...

How about spending the money improving the services? A circular route and night buses would be a huge boost to Swindon. There's no point spending money trying to convince people to use public and alternative transport when they're in need of substantial improvement.
How about spending the money improving the services? A circular route and night buses would be a huge boost to Swindon. There's no point spending money trying to convince people to use public and alternative transport when they're in need of substantial improvement. jonelway
  • Score: 5

10:06am Thu 17 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

Chowmai wrote:
Get a circular bus route! Its ridiculous that to go from Cricklade road to asda, or Stratton or by bus one has to go into town and then back out again. A decent town circular bus route that 'crossroads' with other services would greatly help the commuter to work.
Fortunately I have never had to use the buses, but that does seem to make sense. Also the point of the other poster, surely spending money on getting the service right is more important than advertising an imperfect service!
[quote][p][bold]Chowmai[/bold] wrote: Get a circular bus route! Its ridiculous that to go from Cricklade road to asda, or Stratton or by bus one has to go into town and then back out again. A decent town circular bus route that 'crossroads' with other services would greatly help the commuter to work.[/p][/quote]Fortunately I have never had to use the buses, but that does seem to make sense. Also the point of the other poster, surely spending money on getting the service right is more important than advertising an imperfect service! house on the hill
  • Score: 7

12:10pm Thu 17 Jul 14

sputnik says...

Maybe some of the cash find its way to their much heralded Western Flyer cycleway(dire would be more descriptive). In places the tarmac is no better than a dirt track. The trees in places have overhanging branches at head height and the encroaching hedgerow narrows the path down to single way.
The street lights from Grange Park are ineffective due to unmaintained trees. It is obvious that there is no routine work done along this route. On top of this your cannot get any response when you're point out the problems, even when citing safety concerns.
Maybe some of the cash find its way to their much heralded Western Flyer cycleway(dire would be more descriptive). In places the tarmac is no better than a dirt track. The trees in places have overhanging branches at head height and the encroaching hedgerow narrows the path down to single way. The street lights from Grange Park are ineffective due to unmaintained trees. It is obvious that there is no routine work done along this route. On top of this your cannot get any response when you're point out the problems, even when citing safety concerns. sputnik
  • Score: 2

12:24pm Thu 17 Jul 14

swindondad says...

I would like to express my opinion on a couple two points raised in this article:

Getting 6th form students to cycle, IMO if students have not started cycling by 16/17 why would they ever start as they can learn to drive (or very shortly), start this initiative earlier if it is to stand any chance of success.

Public transport:
Swindon's existing bus service is fine IF your trip is to or from the town centre and takes place between 07:00 - 21:00 on a weekday other than that you will have to either catch multiple buses or put up with low frequency or non existent services.
I would like to express my opinion on a couple two points raised in this article: Getting 6th form students to cycle, IMO if students have not started cycling by 16/17 why would they ever start as they can learn to drive (or very shortly), start this initiative earlier if it is to stand any chance of success. Public transport: Swindon's existing bus service is fine IF your trip is to or from the town centre and takes place between 07:00 - 21:00 on a weekday other than that you will have to either catch multiple buses or put up with low frequency or non existent services. swindondad
  • Score: 6

4:07pm Thu 17 Jul 14

beach1e says...

im surprised anyone gives money to swindon council without checking what daft scheme they want it for. they seem good at spending it on themselves and their friends but nothing thats any good to anyone who actually funds the council
im surprised anyone gives money to swindon council without checking what daft scheme they want it for. they seem good at spending it on themselves and their friends but nothing thats any good to anyone who actually funds the council beach1e
  • Score: -1

4:54pm Thu 17 Jul 14

BCDR99 says...

So, not actually "doing" anything?? Just telling the people of Swindon about stuff they see all day, every day as they move around the town?

Given that £750k has been spent on the Western Flyer (which has resulted in the already reasonably well surfaced bit being resurfaced, a few nice signs being put up while leaving the rubbish surface alone) I can't see how another £750k can go very far to ACTUALLY improve facilities that don't want to use a car.
So, not actually "doing" anything?? Just telling the people of Swindon about stuff they see all day, every day as they move around the town? Given that £750k has been spent on the Western Flyer (which has resulted in the already reasonably well surfaced bit being resurfaced, a few nice signs being put up while leaving the rubbish surface alone) I can't see how another £750k can go very far to ACTUALLY improve facilities that don't want to use a car. BCDR99
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Thu 17 Jul 14

John~R says...

I'd spend some of the money on giving more space to pedestrians and cyclists along Fleming Way between the Magic Roundabout and the Whalebridge junction. The existing footpath-****-cyclewa
y is very narrow and encroached on by bus shelters, road signs and lamp posts.

There's no real need for a dedicated bus lane for the traffic leaving the town centre.
I'd spend some of the money on giving more space to pedestrians and cyclists along Fleming Way between the Magic Roundabout and the Whalebridge junction. The existing footpath-****-cyclewa y is very narrow and encroached on by bus shelters, road signs and lamp posts. There's no real need for a dedicated bus lane for the traffic leaving the town centre. John~R
  • Score: 1

9:08pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Craig-o says...

John~R wrote:
I'd spend some of the money on giving more space to pedestrians and cyclists along Fleming Way between the Magic Roundabout and the Whalebridge junction. The existing footpath-****-cyclew
a
y is very narrow and encroached on by bus shelters, road signs and lamp posts.

There's no real need for a dedicated bus lane for the traffic leaving the town centre.
Is that actually a cycle path? I thought it was just a foot path and cyclists have to go in the road.

The problem with cycling is that it's actually fairly good in terms of cycle paths to get to town from somewhere but getting through/round the town centre on a bike to somewhere on the other side is a nightmare
[quote][p][bold]John~R[/bold] wrote: I'd spend some of the money on giving more space to pedestrians and cyclists along Fleming Way between the Magic Roundabout and the Whalebridge junction. The existing footpath-****-cyclew a y is very narrow and encroached on by bus shelters, road signs and lamp posts. There's no real need for a dedicated bus lane for the traffic leaving the town centre.[/p][/quote]Is that actually a cycle path? I thought it was just a foot path and cyclists have to go in the road. The problem with cycling is that it's actually fairly good in terms of cycle paths to get to town from somewhere but getting through/round the town centre on a bike to somewhere on the other side is a nightmare Craig-o
  • Score: 0

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