North Somerset projects recognised at national awards


Three North Somerset projects were recognised at the Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards held in Leicester.

North Somerset Council and Bristol City Council were joint winners of the ‘Best sustainable travel initiative – Business’ award.

Since 2017, thanks to funding from the Department for Transport (DfT), North Somerset Council has had a fleet of electric bikes available to loan out for free to businesses. So far, the popular e-bikes have covered over 2,310 miles!

Alongside cutting carbon emissions, participating businesses have reported reduced spending on mileage claims and business travel, as well as health benefits for their staff. At the end of the loan one in four businesses have gone on to buy their own e-bike.

Many staff have also been inspired to purchase personal e-bikes for commuting. Craig Beynon, Facilities Technician at Weston College, said: “Since I’ve had the opportunity to use the e-bike I’ve decided to sell my car and buy a bike instead.”

Boombox Youth Project were winners of the ‘Excellence in Cycling 2019’ award.

Boombox Youth Project create youth work opportunities and experiences for young people living in the South Ward area of Weston-super-Mare.

After meeting with North Somerset Council’s Sustainable Travel team, project manager Elaine Harris was inspired to join forces to get young people out onto bikes cycling to places on their doorstep that they were not currently exploring.

Using council funding obtained from the DfT, the youth work team were able to host Dr Bike sessions to teach young people how to fix punctures and maintain their bikes. Youth work staff completed training on how to lead rides and acted as role models using bikes to get to work. The team completed rides to areas they would not have otherwise visited, including Brean Down and the Strawberry Line.

Fix-2 Ride were finalists in the ‘Best sustainable travel initiaitve – Community’ award.

Fix-2-Ride bring together people of all abilities and ages to receive accredited training in basic cycle repair, maintenance and riding safety.

Using council funding obtained from the DfT, they were able to purchase tools to equip a mobile workstation. So far, the project has delivered workshops in a number of schools and allowed young people with learning difficulties to access work experience at the Strawberry Line cycle hire business.

They have also worked with the council’s Community Learning Service team to engage adults not in education, employment or training.

North Somerset Council is keen to support other businesses and community groups with cycling and walking projects. To find out more contact sustainable.travel@n-somerset.gov.uk.