First awards from £2m sustainable travel fund

The first winners of the £2 million Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund have been announced.

The first winners of the £2 million Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund have been announced by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson.
The Open Fund provides match funding grants between £5000 and £50,000 to public, third and community sector organisations that seek to transform people's everyday travel behaviour to more sustainable modes of transport.
The scheme opened in June 2018 and so far 11 winners having been awarded a total of £210k across rural, urban and island locations. The Open Fund is delivered in partnership with Paths for All, who continue to receive innovative applications which will encourage people to adopt greener and healthier travel options.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson announced the first winners of the Open Fund during the Transport Scotland Bus and Active Travel Summit in Edinburgh. Mr Matheson said:
“I’m proud that the funding from this government has supported a variety of organisations across Scotland. It responds to requests from third sector and community organisations, alongside a wide range of public agencies, who want to contribute in making Scotland’s transport cleaner, healthier and more sustainable. 
“Even in its first few months the fund is already creating new opportunities for people to walk and cycle for everyday short journeys and to choose sustainable options for longer journeys.
“We have doubled the active travel budget so that we can support fantastic opportunities such as the Smarter Choices Smarter Places Open Fund. By providing financial support and empowering  local organisations, we can encourage an Active Nation, and ensure that more people can enjoy the benefits of active and sustainable travel than ever before."
Ian Findlay, Chief Officer at Paths for All said:
“We are delighted that such a wide range of organisations across Scotland are taking advantage of the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places Open Fund. It’s been heartening to see such creative ideas coming forward and the appetite groups and organisations have when it comes to encouraging walking, cycling and sustainable travel.
“Creating opportunities for more people to walk and cycle for everyday short journeys and choosing sustainable options for longer journeys will not only improve the health of the nation, but it will help to create safer communities and reduce environmental impacts.
"Increased active travel helps to create robust local communities where people feel more connected to the places they live. We’re looking forward to continuing to work alongside the successful organisations of this new behaviour-change fund, supporting them to create a happier, healthier Scotland.”
Summary of winning projects
Gaydio (Glasgow) - £10,000
Travel Smart in Glasgow: Radio broadcast and mini-activities campaign targeted at LGBT people to encourage uptake of walking, cycling (including e-bikes) and public transport for everyday journeys.  Incentivised through a travel miles bank, and encouraging listeners to build up travel miles through active and sustainable modes.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Countryside Trust (The Trossachs) - £30,000
Trossachs Rural eBike Demo (TRED): Phase one of a bike share demonstration within the National Park to encourage the use of e-bikes for active travel in rural areas and reduce transport poverty.  Employment of a project officer to raise awareness, collate baseline information and change attitudes around the use of e-bikes for everyday journeys.
Scottish Borders Council (Scottish Borders) - £25,000
Borders Buses Web App: Working in partnership with Borders Buses to develop a real time and travel planning website app to encourage more public transport use for the over 60’s population throughout the Scottish Borders.  Real time option designed to take away uncertainty of whether a bus is on route and provide more confidence to some reluctant users.
HITRANS (Moray) - £35,000
Green Passenger Transport in Rural Areas (G-PaTRA): A targeted marketing campaign to promote the introduction of a new electric bus service on a new scheduled route in rural Morayshire. The campaign will raise awareness of the benefits of travelling sustainably in rural areas where there has been no previous public transport links and therefore high car usage.
Forth Environment Link (Falkirk) - £50,000
Walk Cycle Falkirk: Encourage active travel within targeted communities (Camelon, Bainsford and Grangemouth) through community consultation and engagement, resulting in development of Community Active Travel Plans.
Deaf Scotland (National) - £20,000
Deaf Safe: Increase the accessible information (including British Sign Language) made available to support deaf people to enjoy their rights to cycle in safety in Scotland.  Working in partnership with Cycling Scotland, information will be provided online via film clips highlighting the risks of cycling and how to mitigate these so deaf people can cycle in confidence as part of everyday journeys.
Fife Cultural Trust (Fife) - £6,000
Walk ON: Combining shared reading and group walks into regular free short activity sessions.  The aim is to change attitudes to walking by raising awareness of the variety, and ease of access to walk routes in communities across St Andrews, central Dunfermline and Duloch.  Will encourage regular walking and reduced car use by increasing activity levels and sustain commitment to walking as a means of everyday travel.
Glasgow Caledonian University (Glasgow) - £7,000
GCU Smart Travel – Supporting Sustainable Travel Choices: Encouraging staff and students to take up sustainable travel for their daily commute.  Frequent bike maintenance sessions and sustainable travel consultations with the University’s student Smart Travel Advisors will help staff and students review their travel plans to travel more sustainably for their everyday journeys.
The Bike Station (Edinburgh) - £10,000
Higher Education Dr Bike 2018/19: Provision of free bike safety checks and minor repairs through open access sessions across four higher education institutions in Edinburgh.  In addition, the offer of cycling advice and incentives will help to enable people to extend their cycling behaviour as a transport option.
Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (Perth & Kinross) - £7,000
Strathmore Cycle Network: Partnership project between three Development Trusts to raise awareness of a new multi-user path network through a launch event, community consultations and wayfinding initiatives.  The project will encourage active travel between the three communities of Blairgowrie, Alyth and Coupar Angus.
Mallaig Pool and Leisure (Mallaig) - £10,000
On your Bike Mallaig: Development of an Active Travel Hub in Mallaig along with the delivery of organised bike rides and bike maintenance sessions to encourage more people to utilise cycling and walking for their everyday journeys.  Community awareness and engagement will be increased by targeting the communities of Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig.


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