During 2012, Northumberland County Council was successful in its bid for three years of funding through the Department of Transport’s local sustainable transport fund (LSTF). Since this time, the council has received additional funding to deliver the project during 2015/16.
Go Smarter and its aims
The project delivered through local sustainable transport funding (LSTF), Go Smarter Northumberland, aims to:
- improve sustainable travel to work
- extend job search horizons
- support local businesses and local economic development
- contribute to an increasingly low-carbon travel culture
The project centres around southeast Northumberland, where there are concentrations of key economic, social and environmental challenges, but also areas where transport to work barriers can be addressed by encouraging greater use of sustainable travel modes.
The project also extends to key employment and development areas covering the rest of Northumberland, offering support to young adults to acquire new employability skills and addressing travel to work barriers in rural areas.
The objectives of the Northumberland LSTF bid are to:
- enable people to access a wider range of job opportunities, improving connectivity and creating sustainable transport links to jobs and training
- encourage sustainable commuting for people already in work by making it more attractive to use the bus, walk or cycle. This will reduce traffic congestion and improve safety, health and air quality.
- create a low-carbon travel culture by giving people a better understanding of available travel options
The package of measures within the Northumberland LSTF includes the schemes below.
Welfare to work package
Targeting people seeking work is a key focus of our bid, particularly where this will enable employers to reach a wider pool of labour. This package seeks to expand the travel horizons of those seeking employment or training opportunities, while contributing towards a low carbon travel culture.
We are working with Jobcentre Plus and work programme providers throughout Northumberland to ensure job seekers are informed of transport options available to access employment and training opportunities.
Wheels to work scooter loans
We aim to help individuals who live in an area of limited public transport, working shifts with unsocial hours or who cannot take up a job because of transport difficulties.
Cycle to work
We support those wishing to cycle to work by providing cycle skills and confidence sessions, Dr Bike, cycle loans and route planning information. The project also provides cycle maintenance training offering both non-accredited community learning activities and accredited training.
Bus to work
We are improving and promoting the local bus services especially with regard to access to major employment sites in Northumberland and job opportunities in North Tyneside and beyond.
This package has delivered bus infrastructure improvements and provides for those entering employment credit to allow them to travel before receiving their first salary payment.
This package focuses on helping commuters choose sustainable travel, creating opportunities and providing support to try alternative modes of travel to work.
We provide advice, support and incentives to promote sustainable travel among employees.
School travel plans
We work with secondary schools to ensure more young people leave school with knowledge and information about planning and managing their independent travel, and using sustainable travel to access employment.
We use communication channels to promote the package of measures and include joint campaigning around the Go Smarter To Work brand with Tyne and Wear.