Behaviour Change Case Studies News Places for Everyone

Cooperation paves the way for the Strathmore Cycle Network

The Strathmore Cycle Network is an ambitious plan by three Community Development Trusts to create a cycle network between Alyth, Blairgowrie & Rattray, and Coupar Angus.

The idea of a traffic free path from Blairgowrie to Coupar Angus, giving locals an alternative to driving or using local bus services, was suggested at a Climate Café event in 2016. This spurred Alyth, Blairgowrie & Rattray, and Coupar Angus into applying for support from Sustrans’s Places for Everyone programme and regional transport partnership Tactran, with plans to deliver a phased network of walking and cycling routes between the three towns.

A Phased Approach

The first phase of the Strathmore Cycle Network was successful thanks to good engagement with local landowners. Working with the Development Trusts and with support from consultants Walking the Talk, they were able to apply to the Improving Public Access Fund, securing £200,000 for the construction of the first 2.5km of path link Alyth and Rattray.

The success of the plans boosted the community’s enthusiasm for the project, and led to the development of phase 2; Blairgowrie to Coupar Angus. The commitment of the volunteers in delivering the first phase impressed Perth and Kinross Council and led to £100,000 funding contribution.

Having a supportive member of the Perth & Kinross’ roads team on the steering group also proved invaluable. The officer was able to positively feedback to other officers in the Council, and offer support and expertise to the Development Trusts to ensure the project progresses smoothly.

Engaging the Community

Support from the Sustrans Places for Everyone programme and Perth & Kinross Council allowed the development trust to appoint the Scottish Community Development Centre to engage the local community. The initial route chosen by the Trusts was locally unpopular but by involving a neutral third party, the Trust were able to make sure there was an objective engagement process.

The engagement sessions worked well; two main route options emerged. Further discussion is on-going in an attempt to avoid a steep gradient, with the Trusts committed to work with the community and Sustrans to identify the best option. As there has been such positive public involvement so far, there is a strong willingness to find a solution and create this key part of the network

Successful Partnership Working

A group of people on bikes leaves a village centre.

The benefits of a Local Authority supporting in a community-led infrastructure project can be considerable. Many groups have huge amounts of enthusiasm and local knowledge to  take projects such as the Strathmore Cycle Network forward.

Development Trusts can be well placed to lead walking, cycling and wheeling projects. They are embedded in the community and often have experience of handling grant funding, working with elected members, and planning processes. Having multiple partners involved can open up additional funding potential. Each of the three Trusts has received grant funding for support activities, including staff time. This was a very deliberate move by the Trusts, and is a reflection of the strong working relationships that they have built. The model used by the three trusts could benefit many rural or sub-urban communities with poor connectivity.

Behaviour Change Case Studies News Places for Everyone

Barriers to walking and cycling inspire new canal-side ramp

A cyclist arrives to join a led ride from Centre81

Inspired by residents’ reported barriers to walking and cycling, Clydebank Housing Association has been working to create a new accessible path between the Centre81 community centre and the Forth & Clyde Canal.

Working in partnership with Sustrans Scotland, Clydebank Housing Association (CHA) established a steering group with local residents to work out ways to encourage people to walk and cycle for more of their every-day trips.

Residents suggested that creating an accessible route from  Centre81, to the nearby canal towpath – part of National Cycle Network Route 754 – would help more people access the canal as well as local shops, bus links and other neighbourhoods along the canal.

Using local contacts and knowledge

CHA took on the task of working with the community to identify how best to design this path.

CHA made full use of its existing connections with groups throughout Clydebank. ISARO Social Integration Network – which works to promote integration and understanding amongst communities – provided support for the consultation, along with local disability groups, youth clubs and schools.

The honest feedback about the issues that visitors to Center81 faced on their everyday journeys gave CHA clear understanding of their needs and how they could be addressed through construction of a new access route.

Resources for Behaviour Change

Funding from other sources can help spur interest in walking and cycling in the local area. A successful bid to Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Climate Challenge Fund saw CHA work to refurbish bikes for people in the local area and provide maintenance training so people could keep their bikes on the road.

Led rides and social cycles also began and finished at Centre81, taking advantage of the café and other facilities. The new ramp will give ride groups direct access to and from the canal, avoiding an alternative narrow path. This will give people new or returning to cycling a safe, off-road link to practice and ride freely on.

Photograph: A poly-tunnel sits alongside some overgrown hedges at the side of Centre81
An area of land at the side of Centre81 will be ravamped for the ramp

Inspired by their work with local residents, CHA and their designers created six designs for the ramp. Feedback also came from local stakeholders, including planning and roads officers at West Dunbartonshire Council, representatives from Clydebank Community Council and community officers from Police Scotland. Work with Scottish Canals and Sustrans Scotland ensured that proposals fitted with the requirements around the canal and the National Cycle Network.

Ensuring that local residents and users of Centre81 remained involved, CHA presented the six designs to the community, who voted for their favourite. The successful project was put forward to Sustrans Scotland for Places for Everyone construction funding.

Sustrans awarded CHA £170,000 through the Places for Everyone programme to finalise the technical design of the ramp and carry out construction. The option choose by the community will include local history, artwork, colourful tarmac and lighting to create an interesting new place. The school are keen to contribute by creating content to make this new space reflect the history and culture of Clydebank.

Key Learning
Photograph: Staff from Clydebank Housing Association and Centre81 join a led ride from Centre 81 alongside a canal
Staff from Clydebank Housing Association and Centre81 join a led ride

This project shows how partnerships with other organisations can create additional capacity and make smaller projects easier to deliver.

CHA staff were confident in engaging with their community, but had no experience of delivering an infrastructure project. West Dunbartonshire Council did not have the capacity to work in-depth with the community to develop a proposal for the canal ramp.

By pooling their knowledge and expertise, the two organisations were able to work together to create a useful route which meets the needs of local people and encourages them to travel by foot and bike.

Behaviour Change Case Studies News Places for Everyone

Creating new neighbourhood links in Toryglen

Through their work with local people, Glasgow-based charity Urban Roots realised that residents of a new housing development, funded as part of the regeneration of Toryglen, were finding it hard to access local services and greenspaces.

The charity applied for funding through Sustrans’ Places for Everyone programme to design local walking and cycling routes. These will link the new estate with nearby shops, football pitches and woodland.  

Listening to the needs of the community

To gather information on the links that would be most useful to the community, Urban Roots held focus groups tailored to their different volunteer groups, held engagements at existing meetings and ran standalone events.

Urban Roots works to support many vulnerable people and groups with protected characteristics. This experience and the trust built up with volunteers, locals and service users let them carry out in-depth consultation with groups that may have been hard to reach for a local authority or developer, including a mental health and wellbeing group and the Orchard Grove care home

The charity focused on identifying solutions to problems faced by the community in the area. They created concept boards to spark ideas at consultations. By working closely with the community and design agency LUC, Urban Roots were able to make sure that feedback from the targeted consultations was meaningfully translated into the concept designs. 

This meant the proposed designs suggested walking and cycling routes which recognised the everyday journeys made by local residents, formalised desire lines and which were accessible, safe and welcoming to all.

“I think this would be a great space to use and for everyone from elderly to disabled people. Really well thought about!”

Consultation Response

Changing local travel habits

Urban Roots used their consultations as a chance to find out more about individual and social barriers to walking and cycling in the area. This led to the charity setting up a behaviour change project in partnership with Camglen Bike Town.

The project supported local people to be more active in their everyday trips. Cycle training for adults and young people gave locals the confidence to use bikes to get around the local area. Bike maintenance sessions and guided rides help to make sure that people had the skills and knowledge to ride safely and confidently.

“ At Bike Town, we believe local communities and the organisations representing them are ideally placed to facilitate walking and cycling activities that support the development of new cycling active travel infrastructure. ”

Jim Ewing, Senior Team Leader, Camglen Biketown

Partnership working

Urban Roots were well placed to lead on the community engagement but did not have experience of project managing significant construction projects.

To take the designs forward, Urban Roots engaged with Glasgow City Council and local regeneration agency Clyde Gateway This has resulted in Clyde Gateway applying for £50,000 of detailed and technical design funding through the Places for Everyone fund, to further develop Urban Roots’ concept design work.

Key Learning

Community organisations have key local contacts and an understanding of their local area. Local authorities could contract them to help with the planning of new routes or to encourage a more meaningful engagement process.

Community organisations may also have capacity to help drive local authority projects and foster local ownership.

This approach could be replicated through all stages of a project, from initial design creation to supporting activities after construction and ongoing maintenance.

Behaviour Change Case Studies News

Changing travel behaviour in Clackmannan Town

Clackmannan Development Trust was established to regenerate the town and make it a better place to live, work and visit.

A public consultation identified two key priorities for the group. Firstly, to make the town a more attractive place to spend time with and secondly, to improve links for people travelling by foot and bike.

A portion of £2.2million of funding was awarded to the Trust and Clackmannanshire Council through the closure of the local power station. This was used as match funding to work with Sustrans through its Places for Everyone fund.

This resulted in wider pavements, new trees planted, cycle parking installed and traffic restrictions at peak times outside Clackmannan Primary school.

Although the Trust’s remit was much wider than encouraging active travel in the town, they recognised how promoting walking and cycling activities could complement their other aims and objectives.

The achievements of CDT to date and their ambitious but deliverable programme shows that when communities and local authorities work effectively together, even smaller communities can achieve sustainable and prosperous futures”

Alan Murray, Traffic & Transportation Team Leader

Transforming the school run

To help encourage children to travel actively to school along the new route, the Development Trust set up ‘Saddle Up Clackmannan’. This led to:

  • The training of six volunteer ride leaders, who lead monthly rides to promote local routes
  • Regular cycle confidence and maintenance sessions
  • A fleet of bikes available to borrow free of charge.

Inspired by the popularity of the project, the Trust then applied for funding from Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund to employ an Active Travel Coordinator.

The Coordinator delivered in-depth, tailored behaviour change programmes throughout the town. This helped encourage all residents to travel by foot or bike for more of their everyday journeys. 

Key Learning
Photograph: Five children on bikes in front of Clackmannan Primary School
Interventions on Port Street made it easier for pupils at Clackmannan Primary to get to and from school on foot, by bike or by scooter

After a new route has been built, it is important to think about how people may be supported and encouraged to use it.

Community based organisations, such as Development Trusts or charities can be well placed to help.

These activities don’t have to be led by a group that only focus on cycling or physical activity.

Even if there are currently no cycling or walking groups in an area, it doesn’t mean that there is not the desire or capacity to carry out active travel activities. Organisations working in other sectors will also have local knowledge and could be well placed to lead on these.

Next steps

Through the regeneration of Clackmannan, the Trust have developed a strong working relationship with the Traffic and Transportation team at Clackmannanshire Council.

The two groups share a long term vision for active and sustainable travel in the community. The Trust are now working with the Council to see if it would be possible to create new paths linking Clackmannan to other towns.

By creating a culture where it is normal to travel by bike or on foot, the Trust hope to show there is local demand for these projects.

Behaviour Change Case Studies News Places for Everyone

Reaching new audiences along the South City Way

Two women stand, talking at a counter in Bike for Good's shop. A third woman stands behind the counter smiling. The women to the left of the image is holding a green and white bike.
The new Bike for Good Hub provides servicing, repair and a community base

A proactive approach to reaching new audiences has seen a surge in the number of people trying cycling for the first time along the South City Way in Glasgow.

The South City Way project is a partnership between Glasgow City Council and Sustrans, funded through Transport Scotland. The 3km route, from Queen’s Park into the City Centre, seeks to rebalance the streets in favour of people walking and cycling and to make journeys in the area more pleasant.

Local charity Bike for Good were funded by Glasgow City Council to deliver behaviour change measures before and during construction of the project.

They offer bike recycling, cycle training, outreach activities and maintain the city’s Nextbike public bike hire fleet.

The charity has strong partnerships with local organisations around the cycle route and provided tailored support activities to different audiences. 

Focused Impact

Bike for Good’s purpose was clear: to reach people new to cycling and help them to overcome their barriers to being more active.

By organising a wide range of events that mixed food, music, films and socialising they reached people who would not have been interested in purely cycling-focussed activities.

 As a result, two-thirds of cycling activity participants were new to cycling.

Removing barriers

A section of text is written on a blackboard: "Changing lives through cycling! Our Glasgow South Community Hib offers a range of services for..."
Bike for Good run a wide range of programmes from their two Glasgow centres

Bike for Good worked hard to make it easier for more people to come along to their engagement sessions.

The sessions are free to attend and the charity proactively took their services to different areas along the route. 

As well as reaching new audiences by partnering with other organisations working on health, integration and rehabilitation programmes, they offered activities for specific audiences including:

  • Women only rides and cycle skills training
  • Kids afterschool club with occasional trips away
  • “Spokes Not Blokes”, a monthly maintenance session for women and non-binary people

Finally, Bike for Good also ran a pilot project aimed at giving people affordable access to bikes. Aimed at people on low or no income and population groups who are less likely to cycle the “Bikes for All” pilot provided access to Glasgow’s Nextbike public hire scheme for £3 year – a discount of 95%.

This meant that as well as Bike for Good activities being accessible to a wider range of people, they have increased their understanding of ways to effectively encourage participation in cycling among under-represented and minority population groups.

In a two-year period (July 2017 – July 2019), 414 people were signed up, representing 8% of all new annual members of the nextbike scheme in Glasgow during this time. In the same period, 10,253 bike rentals were made by Bikes for All participants, representing 2.3% of all nextbike hires in Glasgow. (from the Bikes for All impact report, November 2019).

Key learning

Tapping in to existing social and support networks helps increase engagement with a bigger range of audiences, especially those who may be seldom heard.

Activities that encourage people to use new infrastructure should be tailored for different target groups or individuals. As a person starts to make more journeys by bike, their needs will change. This means that there needs to be a range of ways to support them.

Local Authority Support

Glasgow City Council provided funding to Bike for Good through Smarter Choices Smarter Places funding. This two year agreement has enabled them to provide a visible and welcoming community space to promote active travel to those living and working around this new route.

The targeted use of this fund to support this significant new route is to be commended. It has supported and complemented the  changes to the built environment carried out by Glasgow City Council and, by coming from a trusted, local organisation, will help lead to longer, more impactful changes in the community.

Key learning

Just as individuals will have specific active travel needs, different infrastructure projects will require different approaches to how they encourage people to walk and cycling more in the surrounding area.

Based on the reported success of Bike for Good’s activities, a relatively small investment in providing support activities can have a large impact. The number and type of people using the route will be key measures of success, so the benefits of supporting a wider audience to be cycle-ready are clear.