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Transport boost for Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 13:07 12 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 05 July 2010

PEOPLE in Lowestoft will soon be able to get around town more easily without their cars thanks to the launch of the innovative TravelSmart scheme.

The project - co-ordinated by sustainable transport charity Sustrans with partners Socialdata - has received a Big Lottery Fund boost to provide people with personalised travel advice in a bid to ease congestion whilst improving public health and tackling the effects of climate change.

PEOPLE in Lowestoft will soon be able to get around town more easily without their cars thanks to the launch of the innovative TravelSmart scheme.

The project - co-ordinated by sustainable transport charity Sustrans with partners Socialdata - has received a Big Lottery Fund boost to provide people with personalised travel advice in a bid to ease congestion whilst improving public health and tackling the effects of climate change.

Up to 25,000 households in Lowestoft will be invited to take part in the scheme which starts its first phase this month in Oulton, Oulton Broad and Normanston. It offers residents tailor-made travel information and support to help them choose walking, cycling and public transport where and when it suits them best.

People taking part in TravelSmart Lowestoft are contacted directly by phone and on the doorstep and can choose from a wide selection of information including walking and cycling maps, cycle training, local bus and train timetables, as well as discounts and offers and the opportunity of a personal advice session with an expert.

Lowestoft is the latest town to join the highly successful nationwide programme which has already achieved reductions in car use averaging more than ten per cent in other areas of the country.

Rachel Purdy, Sustrans TravelSmart Lowestoft Project Officer, said: “Congestion is a real problem in Lowestoft and Oulton Broad because of the knock-on effects of long traffic queues building up at the town's key river crossing points and at other locations.

“TravelSmart Lowestoft can help people beat the queues by offering them realistic alternatives to using their cars for some of their everyday journeys. Walking and cycling are often the best options for shorter trips and can help you get more daily exercise.

“As part of the project we have developed a brand new local travel map that shows all of the walking, cycling and bus routes across the whole of Lowestoft.”

Sustrans is working in partnership with Suffolk County Council and Waveney District Council. Both councils have given their full support by providing the match funding needed to get the project off the ground.

This is a good example of Suffolk County Council's continuing commitment to Lowestoft as well as demonstrating how local government can work together for the benefit of the people of Suffolk.

Guy McGregor, Portfolio Holder for Roads and Transport at Suffolk County Council said: “This is fantastic news for the people of Lowestoft.

“Educating and challenging people to use alternative modes of transport are vital in improving the town's congestion problems. There are many cycle, bus and walking routes in Lowestoft which give people the option of choosing a more sustainable way to travel. The TravelSmart Lowestoft project will help to promote the good work which is already being achieved in the town.”

Councillor Ken Sale, Waveney District Council's Portfolio Holder for the environment added: “TravelSmart Lowestoft is a fantastic initiative and Waveney District Council is delighted to be playing its part. The scheme will not only benefit the town, helping to ease congestion and protect the environment, but it will also provide health benefits for anyone who now leaves their cars at home. It's a real win-win.”

The project is being funded by the Big Lottery Fund's Wellbeing Programme as part of a consortium of leading walking, cycling and health organisations.

Further information about Sustrans including other news releases is available through our website: www.sustrans.org.uk

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