Help us to make sustainable travel easier

People in the North East will be asked for their ideas to help make it easier to travel sustainably.  

A new draft modal shift strategy highlights impactful transport schemes and campaigns that can be brought forward to encourage everyone in the region to increase their sustainable journeys. Car users are being asked to switch one journey a week to public transport, walking or cycling and people who don’t have access to a car are encouraged to continue to travel sustainably. 

If the North East works together to make this change, we can remove 200 million unnecessary car trips from our region’s roads, replacing them with cleaner, greener travel. 

“Because of the climate emergency and a public health crisis we need to act urgently to make travel greener. Small changes can add up to make a big difference, and together we can achieve our environmental and health goals. 

“The strategy will outline some of the actions needed to make it easier for people to travel sustainably – walking, cycling and using public transport. 

“Of course, car use is sometimes the most suitable travel option but that certainly isn’t the case for every journey. We want people to think carefully about their travel and we are committed to making it easier for people to choose sustainable transport. We don’t have all of the answers so we’re asking local people to contribute their ideas and suggestions, the result will be a multi-million pound package of measures to encourage greener journeys.

“We want to make it easier for people to pollute less and be more physically active by increasing the use of sustainable transport. In this scenario we all win – green transport is good for everyone – it’s often the cheapest way to get around.”

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair, North East Joint Transport Committee

People across the North East are being asked to contribute their own ideas for actions that would realistically help them to walk, cycle or use public transport more regularly. Initial schemes so far include incentivising sustainable trips using an app-based rewards system, working with doctors to “prescribe” healthy travel, and engaging children and parents through schools.

Switching just one trip per week that would have been made by car to walking, cycling or a public transport journey would mean a boost of 200 million extra green trips in the North East per year. It’s estimated around 33% of car trips are under 5 miles – a distance which could be ‘swapped’ to a sustainable mode in many cases.

In the North East, currently 1 in 4 adults are physically inactive and air pollution and congestion are negatively impacting public health and the local economy. In central Tyneside alone air pollution is responsible for around 360 deaths each year and road congestion is estimated to cost every North East driver around £236 per year. Public transport networks are still below pre-pandemic passenger levels and work is ongoing to encourage more commuters back onto sustainable transport to drastically lower carbon emissions. 

“We want local people to be part of this, please tell us how we can help you to use sustainable transport more frequently – whether it’s more cycle paths, a reward scheme for walking to work or improved personal safety on public transport. Share your suggestions so that schemes can be developed which will be truly beneficial for local people.”

Cllr Martin Gannon

Subject to approval by the North East Joint Transport Committee, the Making the Right Travel Choice Strategy will be published in the Autumn and the public are being asked to get involved and share their views between 20 July and 14 September. 

A series of pop-up events will be taking place across the region this August and September where members of the public can come along to share their views and find out more. Further details will be announced in due course. 

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