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Award accolade for Centro’s green travel project…

Submitted by on October 14, 2015 – 6:30 am |

Centro’s Head of Sustainability Conrad Jones (centre) accepted the award from host Rory Bremner (l) and Phil Wilbraham (r), of sponsors Heathrow Airport Ltd.A pioneering £50 million project to get people in the West Midlands to switch to greener travel habits has triumphed at the National Transport Awards.

Centro, the region’s public transport co-ordinator, carried off the prestigious ‘Contribution to Sustainable Transport’ award for its innovative Smart Network, Smarter Choices (SNSC) programme. This has introduced a range of initiatives to encourage people to cut down on car use in favour of green options like public transport, cycling and walking.

The programme beat off both public and private sector competition, in a record-breaking year for entries, at last night’s (Thurs 8 October) ceremony in London.

Councillor Judith Rowley, Lead Member for Safe and Fair Transport and Chair of the Smart Network Smarter Choices Board, said: “I am delighted to see national recognition for this programme, which has far-reaching benefits for our region – for individuals, business and the environment.

“I would like to congratulate everyone involved, at Centro and all our local authority and private sector partners. We look forward to continuing to build on this excellent work.”

Centro’s Head of Sustainability Conrad Jones said the award was recognition that the programme was on the right track. He said: “We are very proud of what this smarter travel programme means for people all across the West Midlands.

“Centro and our partners are working hard to ensure the region is a healthier, happier place to live – supporting the economy while reducing carbon.”

The landmark multi-million pound programme to help support economic growth in the region while cutting traffic congestion and carbon, was officially launched in 2012 after Centro successfully secured the biggest single grant from the government’s Local Sustainable Travel Fund (LSTF).

Over the three-year project, Centro’s Sustainable Travel Team has worked in partnership with the seven West Midlands Metropolitan Authorities to help local businesses, schools and individuals make smarter travel choices to access jobs, education and services.

Measures include better walking and cycling routes, road improvements, expert journey planning for families, schools and businesses and free travel for jobseekers, focusing on 10 of the region’s most congested routes.

Central government provided £33 million through LSTF, which was boosted by additional contributions from local public and private sector partners. The programme aims to promote the health, economic and environmental benefits of smarter travel.

Hosted by Rory Bremner, the 15th Annual National Transport Awards celebrated the successes achieved by national and local transport projects. More than 800 senior transport professionals attended the event including Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP who gave the keynote address.

Award sponsor and industry commentator Transport Times said the awards recognised ‘the people making a real difference to transport across the UK’.

Entries must demonstrate to judges the tangible results they’ve achieved, improving the experience for their transport users and ultimately adding to the successful development of the nation’s transport infrastructure.

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