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Residents reconsider travel options following ground-breaking i-Travel York exercise

Thousands of households in the north of York have so far benefitted from the most extensive door-to-door exercise ever carried out by City of York Council – which will reach more than 12,000 residents over a two-year period.

The first phase of the exercise was carried out in the north of the city this year to provide free tailored travel advice to encourage residents to consider using alternative travel options such as cycling, car sharing, walking and public transport.

As a direct result of the ground-breaking travel initiative, thirty-two per cent of participants said they are now using their car less and sixty per cent confirmed the sole reason they reduced their car use and considered alternative modes of transport was because of the scheme.

Since the project’s launch in May, a team of advisers has been providing tailored travel advice to residents in the Rawcliffe and Clifton wards, and at community events citywide, with more than 2,200 residents taking advantage of the free service. .

More than 2,000 residents took up a personal travel challenge to try a new way of getting around York, and received incentives such as a pedometer, a free AllYork bus taster ticket worth £20, discounted cycle training or a free bike health check to help them on their way.

More than 650 children took part in an active travel challenge to try cycling or walking for 60-minutes a day and nearly 700 residents signed up to the project’s online travel club MyTravelYork to receive regular news updates.

Positive feedback for the project was received through a recent customer satisfaction survey conducted last month.  Through a sample of nearly 200 project participants, 99 percent rated the quality of travel information they received from i-Travel York as ‘very good’ or ‘fairly good’ and 97 percent were happy with the service provided.

Encouragingly, 38 percent of participants also reported they were cycling more; 37 per cent walking more; 22 per cent using the bus more; and 32 per cent using their car less as a direct result of the project and their contact with the i-Travel York team.

Supported by the council’s four-year i-Travel York initiative, made possible by £4.6 million of government funding which the council successfully bid for in 2011, the campaign specifically targets the northern quadrant of the city where there are high numbers of short car trips to employment and retail destinations.

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “The results so far have been very encouraging. Thousands of residents have already taken advantage of this free travel advice service and tried out new travel options as direct result of the scheme.

“By supporting even more people to walk, cycle, use public transport, or car share to get around York, this will help to reduce congestion, improve health and increase economic growth in the city.

“As part of our i-Travel York programme, we are aiming to increase levels of cycling by 20 per cent and walking by 10 per cent by 2016. We are also working towards increasing bus usage by 18 per cent by 2015.”

The i-Travel York initiative will reach over 12,000 homes throughout the entire roll out, with the scheme targeting Huntington, Haxby, New Earswick and Earswick in 2014.

A new Journey Planner was recently launched as part of the project to help residents, businesses and visitors get around York more easily. Available at www.itravelyork.info and accessible via smartphones, tablets and desktop computers, the planner provides the best walking, cycling, public transport and driving routes in or through York at the touch of a button.

Residents can continue to sign up to MyTravelYork on the website to receive information updates, promotional offers and the latest news on their travel options. For more information follow @itravelyork or like at www.facebook.com/itravelyork

Download the i-Travel York Year One report from the right hand side of this page.