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Walsall Council and College take green travel steps together (16-06-2004)

Students and staff are getting the chance to get to grips with eco-friendly travel – thanks to an innovative project set in motion by Walsall Council and Walsall College of Arts and Technology (WALCAT).

The £90,000 project will give people the chance to put together a personalised travel plan using ‘green’ transport such as buses, trains, cycling walking and car-sharing.

One of the largest projects of its type in the West Midlands, the personalised journey planning initiative is the first in Britain for a further education institute.

Walsall Council green travel experts have been instrumental in helping WALCAT win funding for the 12-month pilot project, which is being financed by the West Midlands Local Transport Plan.

The project will also involve improving cycle parking at the college and setting up a car-sharing database – which could be extended to offer the service for a number of sites in Walsall town centre.

Councillor Marco Longhi, cabinet member for environment and transportation, said: “This is a great opportunity to make it easier for people to use sustainable transport and do their bit to help make Walsall a cleaner and greener borough.

“Not only that, but using forms of transport such as walking and cycling can help people stay fitter and healthier, as well as helping reduce the amount  of congestion on our roads.

“We are delighted to have forged such a successful partnership with WALCAT on this project and look forward to working closely together on what will be an exciting contribution towards creating a better borough.”

Personalised journey planning encourages people to travel by sustainable transport through providing detailed journey information specific to an individual’s needs. 

The project will also focus on removing transport barriers for people trying to access further education. 

Poor public transport provision and high transport costs have been identified as having a significant impact on retention rates for people living in deprived areas.

David Wheeler, Financial Director at WALCAT, said: “ We are delighted to be working with Walsall Council on this initiative. It is a wonderful opportunity for the college and we are proud to be one of the first colleges in the country to be involved in personalised journey planning.”

Personalised journey planning was developed in Australia under the TravelSmart initiative and several pilot projects have been undertaken in Britain. 
This project dovetails with the council’s vision of creating a better borough and one of the vision’s key priorities is to make it easier for people to get around the borough and across the West Midlands.
Getting around Walsall will be straight forward, with well maintained, free flowing transport and a range of imaginative means to eliminate unnecessary car journeys.

For further details contact:

Stuart Freeman
Transportation Forward Planning and Development,
Engineering and Transportation,
Walsall MBC,
Civic Centre,
Darwall Street,
Walsall,
West Midlands,
WS1 1DG

Tel: – 01922 652560
E-mail: – FreemanS@Walsall.gov.uk