Sustrans double winner at National Cycle-Rail Awards

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14 November 2016

We are excited to announce that at this year’s National Cycle Rail Awards, Sustrans have scooped up two awards. Sustrans Scotland were the winners of category 2: Partnership Working and Local Government Schemes. We also received an award in category 4: where our Cycle Champion Sarah Deakin was recognised for her role in the Kent Community Rail Partnership.

The Cycle-Rail Awards showcase initiatives, improvements and partnerships taking place across the country that enhance the customer experience for those making cycle-rail journeys.

Sustrans Scotland: Links to Borders Rail and Haymarket Station Cycle Facilities

Judges described the way Sustrans Scotland worked with other organisations to make cycling to stations along a new rail line as easy as possible as “an impressive piece of coordination”.

Sustrans formed close partnerships with Midlothian Council, Scottish Borders Council and Network Rail to identify and implement active travel links. These included infrastructure improvements in towns such as new toucan crossings and shared-use paths. There is now safe and easy access to all the communities along the line, and this ties in with excellent cycle storage facilities at every station. At Haymarket Station, the partnership has resulted in a new cycle parking facility, in an area where substantial passenger growth is expected.

The judges stated: “It has turned an unattractive cycle rack into an elegant, multifunctional, high capacity solution, in a location requiring listed building consent, and achieved a 300% increase in capacity.”

An initial survey found that the facilities were extremely well used. Importantly, it also found that 15% of those questioned would have used a car if cycling racks were not available. Furthermore, all those surveyed were then going on to travel by train to reach their final destination.

Cycle Champion Sarah Deakin: Kent Community Rail Partnership

Helping children be superheroes! Sarah Deakin has embraced her role, promoting rail use to schools around the Medway Valley and Swale Rail Lines, working closely with the local community and children of all ages and abilities.

One of her projects as the Kent Community Rail Partnership (KCRP) Engagement Officer was to deliver an exciting and inspiring programme for Year 5/6 pupils called Smarter Journeys. The aim was to give them the skills and confidence to plan their own journey to school and to choose active and sustainable travel over the car. The programme's activities included school visits, cycle training and bike repair, a free train journey and a station visit, plus safety talks.

Sarah has had some clear successes over the year, including the results of a survey which found 100% of children who took part in the Smarter Journey programme said they were now more confident using the railway and catching a train.