News

Consultation fatigue? We’ve got your back!

Join us on Saturday November 3rd in Edinburgh for our latest event: From nonsultation to community empowerment – putting consultations to work

consultation lego 2

After our two successful campaigners’ days in Kilmarnock and Aberdeen, we’re now planning another day covering an issue that affects the whole of Scotland at the moment – making the most of consultations.

One of the things we hear a lot is that consultations – of which there have been a lot in recent months, with more in the offing – are an area where people struggle. Even if they’re not ‘nonsultations’ or bafflingly technical to a lay person, people often end up suffering from consultation fatigue, or simply don’t have the time to attend an event held in the town hall on a Tuesday lunchtime in November. And when you have made the effort to respond, it can all feel like a giant waste of time. And yet, the alternative – not being consulted – seems worse.

That’s why we’re joining forces with the Women’s Cycle Forum Scotland to run a joint event that will try and demystify the process of consultations, challenge some of the ways that they happen, and establish what the barriers are to people getting their perspective across.

Here’s the outline programme:

10.30 Refreshments, registrations

10.45 Welcome

10.50 Opening address: Lesley McInnes (Transport Convener for Edinburgh Council) and Daisy Narayanan (Sustrans and lead officer for the Central Edinburgh Transformation project)

11.10 Current consultations – what are we being consulted on (and why it matters)

 11.30 Workshops (1)

  •  Diversity and equality – How to engage unheard voices: Women’s Cycle Forum
  • What is a quality response? A view from the inside: Anna Herriman
  • Masterminding local consultation responses: GoBike and Spokes

12.15 Comfort break

12:30 Workshops (2)

  • Get your rulers out – a geek’s guide to responses: Alex Ingram of Wheels for Wellbeing and the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain
  • Community Empowerment Act and local governance
  • How to get the most out of local housing developments for walking and cycling: Morag Haddow, East Lothian Council

1.15 Lunch

2.00 Roundtable discussions, world café style – What are the barriers to responding to consultations, and how can the process be improved?

3.00 Panel reflections and learning points

3.30 Close

This free event will take place on Saturday 3rd November in Edinburgh – please book now.

Sharing ideas at our South of Scotland campaigners’ day

A driech day didn’t dampen the enthusiasm as we gathered in Kilmarnock for our South of Scotland campaigners’ day. This brought together groups and individuals from Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and beyond to share ideas, stories and inspiration about how to improve conditions for active travel in the region.

Suzanne Forup from Cycling UK (and Walk Cycle Vote) kicked off the day with a presentation setting the scene and the (ever more complicated) active travel landscape in Scotland (you can see Suzanne’s presentation here)

Then it was the turn of Iona Shepherd from GoBike, the Strathclyde Cycle Campaign, explaining how the group used the power of being a social movement to bring about change in Glasgow – giving people the chance to get involved in everything from responding to consultations and running rides, to getting stuck into creative campaigning online and offline (you can see Iona’s presentation here)

After a fair bit of time listening, people then had a chance to split into groups and talk about local issues in their areas, a conversation that was clearly so engrossing that it was hard to get anyone to stop to have lunch – always a good sign in an event that was as much about networking as anything else.

After lunch, it was a chance for local groups to introduce themselves with short presentations from our hosts the South Ayrshire Paths Initiative and the Kilmarnock Active Travel Hub, as well as from Cycling Dumfries (you can see the Cycling Dumfries presentation here).

It was then time to talk creative campaigning, with a presentation from Sally Hinchcliffe of Pedal on Parliament, rounding up how to use humour, eye-catching imagery and fun to either embarrass people into acting – or change the narrative altogether (you can see Sally’s presentation here, and get a handout with more information here).

This then segued into another chance for people to talk in groups about how they might take some of the lessons from the day and turn them into campaigns to tackle their own local issues – from harnessing the ‘pester power’ of kids – to a spot of guerrilla signage ..

Finally, with the buzz in the room reaching deafening volumes, we tried to bottle that fizz by getting everyone to make a note of one action they were going to take, once they’d digested the lessons of the day.

All in all it felt like a successful event, and we look forward to seeing what comes out of it.

If you missed it, or couldn’t make it down to Kilmarnock, we’ve got another similar event coming up in Aberdeen on the 29th September. Once more it’s free, but if you want to attend, please book yourself on because places are limited.

Making cycling and walking to school easier for all

Three pieces of legislation coming up in the Scottish Parliament have the potential to make cycling and walking easier and safer for kids (as well as everyone else). Ian McCall from Paths For All explains what they are and why they matter. 

Walking infographicWith our children and grandchildren now returning to the classroom, many of us will be thinking about how they are getting to school and back in a way that is healthy and safe.

Is it easy for them to walk, scoot or cycle to school? If not, what might make it easier and what would reassure you if you have concerns about traffic?

Perhaps drivers park on the pavement or motorists double park? Or maybe you feel the speed of local traffic is too fast?

At Paths for All, we believe that the places we live, work and go to school in should be more walkable and there are several initiatives at the moment that may help.

The Planning (Scotland) Bill, currently in the Scottish Parliament, is an opportunity to improve placemaking. We have said that planning needs to produce places where walking and cycling can be the first choices for short everyday journeys. This will rely on better links between planning and transport policies. To support this, we are also promoting a policy on walkability as part of the review of the National Transport Strategy.

The Transport (Scotland) Bill includes proposals to control parking on pavements and to improve bus services and we will be submitting evidence on this.

Inconsiderate parking forces pedestrians onto the road and into the path of vehicles. It is a major barrier for people with visual or mobility impairments, wheelchair or mobility scooter users, families with pushchairs and cyclists. According to a Living Streets poll, 73% of people aged 65 and over felt pavement parking was a problem for them in their local area.

Virtually every trip by public transport involves some walking. Buses are particularly important given the number of people that use them and the range of communities they serve. Around three quarters of all public transport journeys are by bus but, over the past ten years, bus routes have reduced by a fifth and fares have increased by 50%.

The Restricted Roads (20mph Limit) (Scotland) Bill has been proposed by Mark Ruskell MSP and is likely to be introduced as a Member’s Bill to the Parliament soon. This would change the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph on most roads in residential and built-up areas. We agree that reducing the speed to 20mph has safety benefits that encourage walking and cycling. The introduction of the 20mph limit in Edinburgh is reported to have had a profound effect on injury rates which have fallen by 25%.

Making the streets safer and more pleasant to use will encourage more walking and cycling, especially for local trips such as getting to school and back.

This will not only bring road safety benefits but will also help to improve overall health and wellbeing, reduce congestion, improve air quality and have positive local economic benefits.

If you would like more information, contact: policy@pathsforall.org.uk.

If you’d like to let your MSP know what you think of these bills, you can contact them via Write To Them

mother and daughter

North of Scotland Campaigners’ Day – book now!

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

wcv_bike_track2

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

wcv_bike_family1

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!

mothers_day_3

Campaigners’ day – presentations

Thanks to all of you who came to the Campaigners’ day last weekend – we felt it was a really positive day full of energy and enthusiasm and we hope everyone else who came along did so too! If you missed it (or just want to relive the moment), GoBike have put together a great roundup of some of the tweets which give a real flavour of the day.

If you missed it – or if you were interested in one of the workshops you couldn’t get to – we’re posting the presentations and notes here as the speakers send them in.

Community Links/Plus – Matt Davis, Sustrans
Space for People Byres Road: introduction to the campaign –  street designsvisualisationscampaign graphics
5 Go Mad in Mini Holland: lessons from London for Scotland – Sally Hinchcliffe, Pedal on Parliament
A Thousand Words – Iona Shepherd – Using images to give your event even more impact

Place Standard tool – John Howie, NHS Organisational Lead
Running a councillor tour – John Donnelly, Go Bike
Psychology of change – Brenda Lillicrap
Local Authority Cycling Strategies – Matt Davis, Sustrans
Long game campaigning – Drem Gullane Core Path Campiagn

If you don’t see one you’re particularly interested in, let us know and we’ll try and chase it up

 

Campaigners’ Day rescheduled: now 31st March

Update: Due to the snow, this event was postponed until Saturday 31st March (Easter Saturday).  There’s still time to book your free place, whether you were booked on the original one or not

Don’t miss out! We’re holding our third annual Walk Cycle Vote Campaigners’ Day on the 31st March in Glasgow – a great opportunity for anyone who’s keen to do more to support active travel in Scotland. It’s a chance to learn new skills, share ideas and network with other people who are passionate about improving conditions for walking and cycling.

wcv_signpost_2

We’ve got some great speakers, but it won’t all be just sitting and listening; there are two breakout workshops giving you a chance to get your hands on and discuss issues in smaller groups. Note that if one or two of them prove oversubscribed we will aim to repeat those. 

Whether you’re already a veteran campaigner, are just starting out, or are wondering whether it’s all for you, please do sign up – it’s free (although a donation to cover lunch would be appreciated).

10.30 Registration
10.45 Welcome – Anna Richardson, Glasgow City Council
11.00 Community Links/Plus – Matt Davis, Sustrans
11.30 Break – tea/coffee (help reduce impact on the environment – bring your own mug or keep cup)
11:45 Workshops:
• Using graphics to visualise better street designs – Space for People Byres Road
• 5 Go Mad in Mini Holland: lessons from London for Scotland – Sally Hinchcliffe, Pedal on Parliament
• A Thousand Words – Iona Shepherd – Using images to give your event even more impact.

12.30 lunch

1.00 Air quality, health and cycling – Emilia Hannah, Friends of the Earth
1.30 Place Standard tool – John Howie, NHS Organisational Lead
2.00 Workshops:
• Running a councillor tour – John Donnelly, Go Bike
• Psychology of change – Brenda Lillicrap
• Local Authority Cycling Strategies – Sustrans
• Long game campaigning – Drem Gullane Core Path Campiagn
2:45 Break – tea/coffee
3.00 Panel Q&A
3.30 home

CampaignersDayWCV2
Attendees at the first campaigners day in 2016

Taking it to the streets

One of our goals for We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote this year was to promote more positive campaigning that gets ideas out of our social media bubbles and out into the real world. Sometimes this can be a substantial effort, such as our Firestarter Festival Popup Park (of which more later) – but sometimes it can be as simple as a stencil, some chalk, and a little bit of overnight action.

This Valentine’s Day we joined forces with Walk Cycle Vote supporters the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, GoBike, Cycling Dumfries, Bike4Good and a few assorted volunteers to ‘love bomb’ some of our favourite bits of cycling infrastructure with a (temporary and ecologically friendly!) “Insert Loved one Here” #ILOH heart tag .

The point was to highlight the benefits that the best quality infrastructure brings – the routes you’d be perfectly happy to see any of your loved ones using, young or old, fit or not.

It didn’t have to be something big – sometimes a couple of well placed dropped kerbs make all the difference

And if it triggers a bit of friendly rivalry between cycle campaigns (and councils) then all to the good …

The campaign was inspired by the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain, whose online “Insert Loved one Here” tool launched last year to highlight the dangers of poor quality cycling infrastructure. Go Bike then took the campaign out onto the streets of Glasgow, with striking effect:

But we wanted to make sure that we didn’t just complain about the things we didn’t like – we need to be clear about what we do like. And both Go Bike and Cycling Dumfries took up the baton despite snow and freezing temperatures.

Thanks to everyone who ventured out on a baltic night to spread a little infrastructure love! And if you missed the fun, don’t worry – you can take part online with the updated version of the Cycling Embassy tool, which now lets you flag up the best conditions with a positive heart …

Even if you might have to cross the North Sea to find the very best examples

By the way  if you’re interested in refreshing your campaigning skills, sharing ideas or networking with other campaigners, then do sign up for our Campaigners’ Day in Glasgow on Saturday March 3rd.  More details to follow!