North of Scotland Campaigners’ Day – book now!

Our northern Scotland campaigners’ day is now open for booking! Saturday 29th September 11-4

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The elections may be over for a while, but #walkcyclevote continues! With the Scottish Government ‘Programme for Government’ announcement in September 2017 doubling the active travel budget it has never been more important to work together to ensure that investment pays off.

For some of us, that means carrying off the balancing of supporting new (and possibly controversial) initiatives from the powers that be – while still continuing to hold them to account. For others, it means making sure our local areas don’t miss out or get left behind in the dash for active travel money. Either way, campaigners old and new will need new skills and new ideas as we move into a potentially exciting future.

Join us in Aberdeen at the Coffee House with Aberdeen Cycle Forum and BikePaths4UnionStreet for the second in a series of localised training and networking events to share and learn from campaigners and organisations across Scotland who are working to transform their local areas – and our country. Book now – it’s free, but spaces are limited so don’t risk missing out.

Programme

10.30 Refreshments available

11 Welcome, introductions and programme

11.10 Setting the scene – funding is now available, but is there a need to change local political and public mindsets?

11.30 Local campaign in Scotland – what’s working for walking and cycling (Lizzie Reather, Cycling UK Scotland)

12.15 Short (5 minute) presentations from local groups

12.45 Local issue discussion in groups (Part 1) – What need to be changed?

1.15 Lunch and networking

1.45 Round up of creative campaigning techniques and how they have been used (Sally Hinchcliffe, Pedal on Parliament)

2.15 Local issue discussion in groups (Part 2) – How can change can be acheived?

2.45 Short (5 minute) presentations from local groups

3.00 Panel discussion

3.30 Next steps – action planning

4.00 Close

The event is free to attend but we are unable to provide lunch on our small budget – there’s a cafe downstairs!

When it comes to cycling infrastructure, communities really can do it for themselves

Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links programme now makes it easier for communities to not just campaign for better infrastructure, but also to have a hand in developing it. In this guest blog, Charlotte Otter of Sustrans explains more:

Communities up and down Scotland are daring to dream and thinking big about how their neighbourhoods can and should be improved to make it easier and safer to walk and cycle – and there is now funding available to make these dreams a reality.

From identifying local routes and networks, which can make it easier and safer to travel actively, to boosting local economies by creating vibrant and attractive places for people to visit and spend time in, local community groups have the power to make significant and positive differences to the lives of people living and working within them.

Through Sustrans Scotland’s Scottish Government funded Community Links programme, community groups and developments trusts have the chance to apply for up to £2million of funding for schemes aimed transform town centres and neighbourhoods into more attractive, accessible and people-friendly public spaces that make it easier and safer for people to walk and cycle for more of the journeys they make every day.

Up to 100% of funding is available through the programme towards the design and feasibility of projects that encourage walking and cycling and up to 50% of match-funding for the total construction cost of a project.

Meanwhile, through our Safer Routes to School programme, funding is available to community groups to support infrastructure developments around school catchment areas and clusters to make it easier and safer for pupils to walk, scooter and cycle to school safely.

A major characteristic of these two programmes, which set them apart from other grants, is the support, guidance and enthusiasm that Sustrans is able to offer to community groups and development trusts. We are experts in helping to develop walking and cycling infrastructure and are on hand to support successful applicants to develop aspirational designs and strategic projects that put walking and cycling at their heart.

And, by working with Sustrans, you have the opportunity to access expertise from our Schools, Communities, Workplaces and Behaviour Change teams, as well as Research and Monitoring and Communication teams helping to better realise a project’s ambitions.

Muthil to Crieff path opening
The Muthil to Crieff path on its opening day

One such example is a project carried out by Perthshire’s Muthill Village Trust, which saw the creation of a 1.5km surfaced path stretching from the outskirts of the village of Muthill towards nearby Templemill. The path offers active travel opportunities for the whole community and is the first stage of a link which will eventually connect Muthill with Crieff via a 6km route using off-road paths, quiet country roads and a bridge over the River Earn.

Getting community backing is the best way of tapping into the wealth of local knowledge and expertise; it encourages dialogue and collaboration and – crucially – buy-in from right across the community for schemes, often resulting in schemes that are much better for everyone

Whether it’s the creation of green spaces, new walking or cycling routes, safer junctions and routes to schools or the widening of existing routes to improve access to local shops, businesses and public transport, we want to support and empower to local people to come together and really influence how their neighbourhood can develop and flourish.

Find out more about setting up your own community group

South of Scotland Campaigners’ Day – book now!

Our southern Scotland campaigners’ day is now open for booking! Saturday 8th September, 11 – 4

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The elections may be over for a while, but #walkcyclevote continues! With the Scottish Government ‘Programme for Government’ announcement in September 2017 doubling the active travel budget it has never been more important to work together to ensure that investment pays off.

For some of us, that means carrying off the balancing of supporting new (and possibly controversial) initiatives from the powers that be – while still continuing to hold them to account. For others, it means making sure our local areas don’t miss out or get left behind in the dash for active travel money. Either way, campaigners old and new will need new skills and new ideas as we move into a potentially exciting future.

Join us in Kilmarnock with the South Ayrshire Paths Initiative for the first in a series of localised training and networking events to share and learn from campaigners and organisations across Scotland who are working to transform their local areas – and our country. Book now – it’s free, but we can only accommodate limited numbers in the venue so don’t risk missing out!

We’re still working on a few additional speakers but the programme at the moment looks as follows

Programme

11 Welcome, introductions and programme

11.10 Setting the scene – funding is now available, but is there a need to change local political and public mindsets?

11.30 GoBike and how they are working to help transform Glasgow for walking and cycling (Iona Shepherd, GoBike)

12.30 Local issue discussion in groups (Part 1) – What need to be changed?

1.00 Lunch and networking

1.45 Round up of creative campaigning techniques and how they have been used (Sally Hinchcliffe, Cycling Dumfries)

2.15 Local issue discussion in groups (Part 2) – How can change can be acheived?

3.00 Panel discussion

3.30 Next steps – action planning

4.00 Close

The event is free to attend but we would welcome a contribution towards the cost of lunch and venue to make our small budget stretch further

Save the date! Campaigners’ days for the south and the north

Save the dates – we’re holding two one-day campaigners’ workshops to reach those who can’t make it easily down to the Central Belt …

On Saturday 8th September we’re joining forces with new Walk Cycle Vote supporter the South Ayrshire Paths Initiative – this will be held at the Killie Browser at Kilmarnock Station and should easily reachable by those in Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire, and also Glasgow.  More details here – including how to book.

Then on Saturday 29th September we’ll be in Aberdeen (at the Coffee House) with BikePaths4Aberdeen and the Aberdeen Cycle Forum. More details here – including how to book.  Original campaigners' day

Our campaigners’ days in Edinburgh and Glasgow have proved to be great networking and knowledge sharing events, helping build a community of people across Scotland who want to make things better for active travel. We’re still working on the details – but this is the schedule we had for our last event in Glasgow. Whether you’re a seasoned campaigner, or just want to see some change, they’re a chance to learn new skills, meet new people, and get energised for the battles ahead!

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