The project involved a randomly selected sample of around 500 people living in the market town of Frome. Participating households were offered a range of personalised travel information and incentives, including a walking and cycling guide to the town, to encourage them to change the way they made some of their everyday journeys.
TravelSmart achieved a 6 percent decrease in the number of journeys made by car, of which more than 80 percent were substituted by walking. Use of public transport among the sample population grew by around 10 percent and there was a 60 percent increase in the level of cycling.
"These results show that TravelSmart, relying purely on voluntary changes in transport habits, could make a significant contribution to local and national policy objectives on transport, the environment and health," claimed James Ryle, Sustrans’ TravelSmart co-ordinator.
The Frome TravelSmart pilot project was managed by Sustrans in partnership with Socialdata, funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs through the Environmental Action Fund, the New Opportunities Fund (Green Spaces and Sustainable
Communities Programme) and Sustrans with in-kind contributions from public transport operators and IBDs such as Oakley Cycles and the Bike Shop, both of Frome.
"It was a brilliant project," Oakley Cycles owner Patrick Williams told Bikebiz.co.uk.
"But we didn’t see a huge uplift in sales. We offered discount cards last November and December and I don’t recollect anybody using them in the shop. We’re doing well right now but I think that’s down to the good weather we’re having. I welcome any pro-cycling projects but I think they bring benefits over the long-term not the short-term."