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Car-bound Blyth breaking free from behind the wheel

Other posts by  |  Steve Smith on Google+ |  October 14, 2011 | 0 Comments

Cycling in urban areas like Blyth is growing in popularity ©

People in Blyth are breaking free from behind the wheel of their cars and turning to more active ways to travel locally.

So says UK Charity Sustrans which has been working in the town enabling people to find healthier and more affordable ways to travel everyday.

The Blyth Active Travel Town (BATT) project from Sustrans and Northumberland County Council has been working with people in the coastal conurbation for the past year.  Hundreds were recently questioned as to their travel habits, particularly to and from work.

The results showed local people were changing their attitudes towards how they travelled and were already starting to move around more actively.

There has been an 11% increase in the proportion of people achieving 30 minutes physical activity for three or more days a week. The number of people who usually travel by car has decreased from 77% in 2010 to 66% in 2011.

Yet those usually cycling to work has more than doubled – up from 7.5% in 2010 to 16.6% in 2011 – and there has been an increase of 51% in the number of people walking to their jobs.

However, despite being only two miles across, Blyth is still very car-bound. Some 66% are still using their cars to get to work, despite a huge 79% having less than one mile to travel.

Mark Curr, Project Officer in Blyth, said: “After one year, we can already see a real change in attitude to how people are seeing their journeys and the results speak for themselves. It’s a great start and as well as the health and environmental benefits, there are serious petrol savings to be had by swapping local car trips for walking and cycling.

“It shows that with information, encouragement and practical solutions, more people are discovering how easy it is to get around Blyth without sitting behind the wheel.”

For more information on the project, visit the Sustrans website.


Category: Industry news

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