'Get on your bike'
Monday, 4 August 2008
Get on your bike or take the bus – that’s the message to rail users from Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly.
Ms Kelly has launched a new station travel plan initiative designed to encourage people to travel to their station the ‘green’ way.
So far, the new plans involve 24 pilot schemes covering 31 stations throughout the national rail network, including Hebden Bridge.
The stations have been selected by a steering group led by David Mapp, commercial director of the Association of Train Operating Companies, which is working with other agencies on the schemes.
Initial research will be carried out at all the stations selected to assess how and why people use different transport modes to travel to them. This exercise will be followed by the drawing up of more concrete plans by local councils in tandem with rail organisations such as Network Rail and train companies.
The aim is to bring in schemes that make it easier to travel to stations by bike, bus, taxi or shared vehicle.
Launching the initiative in Derby, where the station is one of the pilot schemes, Ms Kelly said the campaign was about encouraging people to travel to their destinations in a sustainable way.
“The challenge we have is to combat global warming,” she said.
“This initiative is all about using small amounts of money wisely.”
David Mapp, chairman of the multi-stakeholder steering group which is developing plans, said: “This is not rocket science, it’s all about common sense.”
He emphasised that local authorities would have a big part to play in the schemes.
The travel plans would also reduce the pressure on train companies to extend or build new car parks at stations. Car parking provision scored only 46 per cent in the latest passengers’ survey.