Stratford residents choose to leave car at home following County Council campaign

Travel AdvisorA three month-long campaign in Stratford-upon-Avon to encourage local people to choose more sustainable and healthy ways to travel has resulted in a significant change in people’s behaviour. 

Over the summer, a team of Travel Advisors visited 2,200 households in the town as part of Warwickshire County Council’s ‘Choose How You Move’ campaign.

Their task was to encourage householders to re-think how they choose to travel, promoting rail, walking, cycling, bus and car-sharing as alternatives to the car for both local and longer-distance journeys.

The Travel Advisors, employed through JMP Consultants, focused their efforts on areas of the town that have the highest car usage and are home to those that tend to have the longest commute to work.

The project coincided with the opening of the new Stratford-upon-Avon Parkway Station in May and the start of improved rail services to Birmingham.

The Travel Advisors also attended 17 community events over the summer ranging from Stratford Cyclefest to the Waterside Food and Craft Market. Over 1,000 people at the events signed up to have a Personalised Travel Plan, which looks at where and when people need to travel and gives them the information they need to make the best choices.

A survey with local people who took part in the project has revealed significant changes in their travel behaviour.

Around one-third of them have increased the amount of walking that they do, with around 25% now cycling more.

Around one-fifth have increased their bus use and, overall, one-quarter of those who took part are now using their car less as a direct result of their conversation with one of the ‘Choose How You Move’ Travel Advisors.

Hannah Collett, Senior Transport Planner at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We’re delighted that people were happy to chat to the Travel Advisors about the transport they were using day-to-day and, even better, that they have been willing to make a change.

“We have great sustainable transport links in Stratford, such as the Park & Ride in Bishopton and now Stratford Parkway train station, which are making it so much easier for people to travel into the town centre without using their car.

“With the highways work that is taking place around the former Cattle Market site at the moment, it’s even more important that people consider how they travel into and around the town, to ensure they have the best journey possible.”   

Stratford-upon-Avon ‘Choose How You Move’ is a Warwickshire County Council initiative to promote sustainable and healthy travel choices and to help tackle traffic and air quality problems in the town by encouraging residents, visitors and workers to try different forms of transport for their everyday journeys. It’s funded by the Department of Transport through its Local Sustainable Travel Fund (LSTF).

The ‘Choose How You Move’ campaign now also has a website – www.warwickshire.gov.uk/travel – which brings together information on the many different ways you can get around Stratford and Warwickshire, including by bike, by foot and by public transport.

 Updates on the Cattle Market redevelopment work can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/stratfordcattlemarket.