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Hundreds of South Birmingham and Solihull families set to benefit from green scheme…

Submitted by on August 2, 2013 – 8:16 am |

Judith Rowley - Hundreds of South Birmingham and Solihull families set to benefit from green scheme...Hundreds of families living along two busy routes in South Birmingham and Solihull are set to benefit from expert personalised travel advice as part of a carbon cutting project.

Transport authority Centro, has kick started a green scheme to provide free tailored travel plans for hundreds of homes along the busy A41 Warwick Road and A45 Coventry Road as part of its Smart Network, Smarter Choices project.

Over the next three months, up to 20,000 households along the routes will be visited by expert travel advisers to help those wanting to make the switch to public transport, car-sharing, walking or cycling.

The first advisers will hit the streets on August 12 in the Tyseley, Acocks Green, Sheldon and Olton areas and will draw up bespoke travel plans in a bid to tackle congestion and help residents beat rising petrol and parking costs.

Cllr Judith Rowley, Centro’s lead member for green and accessible transport, said: “Having expert support can help people make informed decisions on how they travel to work, to see friends or to do their shopping.

“We looked for routes in the region with the most congestion and chose those where we felt residents would benefit from some expert advice on some of the travel options available to them.

“The West Midlands loses more than £2.3 billion each year through traffic congestion so if we can keep people moving it will not only cut congestion but help support our economy at as well.”

Centro will be holding a series of exhibitions across South Birmingham and Solihull to inform residents of the advantages of signing up to the scheme.

The exhibitions will be held at:

  • Asda Small Heath in the Network West Midlands marquee – Monday August 5
  • Swan Centre, Yardley – Tuesday August 6
  • Acocks Green in the Network West Midlands marquee, outside Lloyds TSB – Friday August 9
  • Solihull High Street in the Exhibitions Bus – Saturday August 10

In addition to tailored travel plans, the advisers will provide support including free public transport tickets, adult cycle training and local community guides.

The scheme forms part of the £50 million Smart Network, Smarter Choices project which aims to cut carbon, boost the region’s economy and connect residents to jobs.

Cllr Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for development jobs and skills, said: “Transport plays a vital role in connecting residents to jobs, education and training and it is important that we make sure people know exactly which options are available to them.

“By visiting people in areas of high congestion and letting them know of different ways to travel we can also help remove some of the transport barriers which sometimes prevent people from getting into work.”

The move follows a successful pilot carried out along Birmingham’s busy Pershore Road last year.

The scheme saw more than 5,000 households ask advisers to sit down with them and draw up free personalised travel support.

The 5,157 residents who signed up were provided with information or help, such as free bike training, to help them get from their own front door to their destination without having to jump in the car.

Of those who took on personalised travel advice 40 per cent said they had already changed their travel behaviour as a result and a further 12 per cent said they intended to make a change in the future.

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