Charity Sustrans has been named as one of four finalists in the 2013 Eurostar Ashden Awards for Sustainable Travel.
Earning the nomination for its ever expanding National Cycle Network – 84 new cycle routes will be created in five years by the charity – Sustrans stands to win a share of the £30,000 prize fund.
But before it can get hold of the cash, it wil have to beat fellow UK finalists Stagecoach UK Bus - for an initiative aimed at converting non pup transport users - and Metro - supporting companies in West Yorks to promote sustrainable travel to its staffers. The other contender is Belgium's Vlaamse Vervoersmaatschappij / De Lijn – for project 'meettram' and its cost-saving through the optimisation of the heating and ventilation of 40 trams.
“We are delighted to be selected as finalists for this prestigious award," said Malcolm Shepherd, Sustrans chief executive. "Over the last five years Sustrans has helped millions of people get around by foot and bike by linking homes with schools, hospitals and town centres and making sure that good cycling and walking routes extend right into the heart of communities.
“We’ve worked closely with local people to deliver over 80 innovative projects including building bridges, creating traffic-free paths and extending the National Cycle Network. By providing a real alternative to driving, we’ve seen levels of walking and cycling increase by as much as 250 per cent, helping thousands to get healthy and cut pollution.”
The National Cycle Network expansion brings over four million people to within a mile of a safer, greener transport route. New routes link schools, hospitals and town centres to existing cycling routes and early results demonstrated that the campaign has more than trebled the number of cyclists on some routes, we're told.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar said: “The shortlist for this year’s Awards showed the breadth of innovation in sustainable travel across the UK, France and Belgium. Each of these four finalists stands from the wealth of entries and all the judges were impressed by their creative approach to promoting sustainable travel.
“From switching car users onto public transport, to growing cycling networks and finding innovative ways to reduce energy usage, we hope that by celebrating the success of these finalists we can inspire even more people to consider the environment when making their own travel choices.”
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of Ashden added: “Our sustainable travel finalists offer inspiring examples of how to encourage people to think differently about how they travel, demonstrating that travelling by bus, bike or tram is often cheaper, easier and healthier than driving. They are also showing how public transport can be genuinely sustainable.”
The winners will be announced on June 20th 2013.