Recognition for supporters of green travel
Centro's sustainable travel team has handed out awards to West Midlands organisations supporting greener travel.
The Smart Network, Smarter Choices (SNSC) programme has worked since 2012 to promote active travel habits and encourage people to cut down on car use.
More than 100 people attended the presentation ceremony - held at Maple House, Birmingham - sharing success stories and discussing the scheme’s progress to date.
The awards recognise organisations which have engaged with, and contributed to, the prgramme’s work. They were presented by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Raymond Hassall.
Councillor Judith Rowley, lead for fair and safe transport on the West Midlands Transport Delivery Committee, who is chair of the Smart Networks Smarter Choices Board, said: "This is a chance to showcase the excellent value for money our work represents and to see how it is a springboard for future developments. I urge everyone to keep up the commitment to greener, more active travel and continue to set an example and spread the word."
Professor David Cox, chairman of the national cycling organisation, the Cyclists' Touring Club, congratulated 25 organisations on becoming 'Top Cycling Locations'. Each had demonstrated a strong commitment to providing high quality facilities as well as promotional activities to support staff, students and visitors in cycling to their location.
Over the last three years, around 70 organisations have taken part in the Top Cycling Location initiative through Smart Network Smarter Choices and Birmingham Cycle Revolution, including some of the West Midlands largest businesses and universities.
The Smart Network, Smarter Choices programme has introduced a range of initiatives across the West Midlands to encourage people to cut down on car use in favour of green travel options like public transport, cycling and walking. It aims to boost health, environmental awareness and economic growth in the region while cutting traffic congestion and carbon.
Centro is currently leading on a bid for money from the Government's recently announced Transition Fund to continue the work.
Centro's managing director James Aspinall told the team and the award-winning organisations they were acting as the 'conscience' for everyone else. He said: "It's a difficult job to change people's behaviour - it's about hearts and minds and it doesn't happen quickly.But this is a vital issue for future generations and it is high on the Government's agenda.
The £50 million programme currently holds the prestigious National Transport Awards' 'Contribution to Sustainable Transport' award for its innovative work, having beaten off both public and private sector competition. It was officially launched in 2012 after the region's public transport co-ordinator Centro successfully secured the biggest single grant from the government's Local Sustainable Travel Fund (LSTF).
Pictured is the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Raymond Hassall, who presented the awards for green travel