Nottingham-based students will be encouraged to walk and cycle to and from campus as part of a project worth over £3 million. The two-year initiative, led by Sustrans and Nottingham City Council, will target students and staff at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.
The investment will provide new cycle routes and facilities including bike hire and cycle training alongside financial incentives at cycle stores.
Cycling England will contribute £1 million to the scheme, with the remainder funded by local partners Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Nottingham.
Sustrans regional director Yvonne Gilligan said: “There is an enormous potential to improve the health of staff and students – and reduce traffic congestion around universities – by encouraging them to walk or cycle more of their everyday trips.
“Students in Nottingham, as in most university towns and cities, live in close proximity to where they study so there is usually no need to rely on cars to get about. Nottingham is also fortunate to have forward thinking councils, universities and a hospital trust within the strongly supportive Greater Nottingham Transport Partnership plus a good deal of cycle infrastructure already in place.”
Phillip Darnton, Cycling England chairman, commented: “At Cycling England we are always exploring new ways of getting more people cycling, more safely, more often. This initiative is a great example of how we can help people overcome the barriers to getting on their bikes, as well as creating innovative solutions to encourage existing cyclists to use two wheels as often as possible.
“We hope this programme will be replicated and rolled out in other towns and cities – there are many would-be cyclists out there and by identifying and utilising hubs, such as universities and hospitals, we can reach them and give them the training and encouragement they need to make cycling part of their daily lives.”
Transport and Neighbourhoods Portfolio holder at the City Council Jane Urquhart added: “Adults often don’t see cycling as an option but by setting up bike hire schemes, cycle training and other initiatives you can dispel some of the myths and help people realise the various benefits. People can say to themselves ‘This is something I can do today to help the environment, my own health and my bank balance – and have fun at the same time.”