Aberdeenshire Council was a winner at the recent Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) awards. The Council’s “Youth Active Travel in Aberdeenshire” project took the Sustainable Transport award at a ceremony held in London on June 16.
The project aims to encourage smarter travel choices to schools through school travel planning. It involves producing branded materials and lesson plans, developed jointly with education partners and linking directly into the curriculum. It allows schools to pick and choose topics depending on particular issues they may experience.
The initiatives are designed to link into local active travel planning campaigns delivered in parallel with new infrastructure projects, supporting the active journey to school.
This unique and collaborative approach has led to greater buy-in, increased active travel by pupils, with strong support from partners such as Police Scotland, local businesses and community groups.
Monitoring of active travel to school is critical to measure success and this is achieved through the Scottish ‘Hands Up’ Travel survey, now recognised as a National Statistic and originally developed in the north east of Scotland.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee (ISC), Peter Argyle, said: “I’m delighted the Council’s Youth Active Travel in Aberdeenshire project has won this national award.
“It is pleasing to note that judges were impressed with how the project provides guidelines for active travel that successfully achieve modal shift and thought it was noteworthy for being tailored to individual schools and their individual needs.”
ISC Vice Chair, John Cox, added: “It is fantastic to see work being carried out in Aberdeenshire being recognised by transport professionals at a national awards ceremony.
“The judges also noted that the guidelines and approach are highly transferable to other places and situations and could be successfully adopted by other authorities and I’m sure our officers will be happy to share information which could assist in that.”
Aberdeenshire Council is investing in promoting active travel throughout the region to deliver infrastructure improvements through its Integrated Travel Town (ITT) masterplans for Fraserburgh, Huntly, Ellon, Inverurie and Portlethen.
The ITTs for each town are action plans not only for developing infrastructure improvements, but also promotional activities aimed at encouraging more active travel choices.