Travel scheme expands across city

Cycling

A hugely successful active travel initiative – which has already got hundreds of people in north Liverpool onto bikes, buses, trains or walking – is being expanded to the south of the city.

The council has awarded funding to Kirkdale-based training organisation BikeRight! to extend their Choose Freedom project to the Speke and Garston districts.

Over the last two years, Choose Freedom has encouraged north Liverpool residents to broaden their travel horizons and enjoy the freedom, savings, health benefits and increased job opportunities afforded by getting active. Local employers have received grants to install cycle parking for their employees, to encourage them to cycle to work.

BikeRight!’s Liverpool office has also provided bus passes for residents of Everton and Kirkdale who were starting new jobs . The organisation has been responsible for many innovative projects linking businesses to communities and increasing opportunities, delivered through the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Now, the active travel success story will be rolling into south Liverpool.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Climate Change, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “We are absolutely committed to driving up cycling levels and promoting sustainable transport across the city, so it’s great news that we are now able to take the Choose Freedom scheme out to south Liverpool.

“BikeRight! are a vital partner for the city, and working together, we’ve made Choose Freedom a massive success in north Liverpool. Hundreds of local people have benefited from support and training, and are now building cycling into their daily lives. Meanwhile, we’re connecting with local businesses, and getting a range of local employers on-board as active supporters of sustainable transport.

“It’s really pleasing to see the project going from strength to strength. With this fantastic work being extended to the south of the city, I’m looking forward to us engaging even more local people and giving them the opportunity to get involved in active travel.”

The expanded Choose Freedom project will provide a timetable of activities, events and promotional initiatives communicating the benefits of broadening travel horizons.  Activities such as travel surgeries, cycle training and route planning clinics will help people will overcome barriers to smarter travel choices such as low bike ownership, concerns over road safety, and low levels of fitness.

Further support in the form of guided bike rides, bicycle maintenance sessions and led walks will provide new skills in the community to back up the initiative. The project will be based at Garston Urban Village Hall on Banks Road, and can be contacted by email on freedom@bikeright.co.uk or on 0151 482 5700.

BikeRight! will continue to provide travel support and run its weekly walks and rides in North Liverpool.

Jo Somerset, Director of BikeRight! Said: “BikeRight! is delighted to be awarded this contract to work with employers and communities in Speke and Garston. We’re keen to start promoting travel choices to help local people get to work and training opportunities they might previously have thought were too far away. 

“By showing how easy it is to travel by bike or public transport or even walking – or a combination of all three – we hope that employers will take on more residents from the local area.

“The project will follow the same pattern as the Choose Freedom initiative in North Liverpool:  our staff will give travel advice and hand out travel passes and plan journeys with new job starters.  For people in the community who want to get active, they will also lead bike rides and walks, and provide ideas for getting out and about around Merseyside starting from Speke or Garston.”

For more information on the Choose Freedom project, or to get involved, visit http://www.bikeright.co.uk/freedom