Volunteers sought for 12-month pilot study into travel behaviour change

By bellmannews / February 4, 2021

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Aberdeenshire Council is seeking volunteers to participate in a 12-month pilot study into travel behaviour change.

The council is looking for six households from across Aberdeenshire – in either towns, villages or rural locations – who would be willing to replace some or all private car journeys with more active or sustainable modes of travel.

As part of the pilot, those taking part will be asked to consider using public transport, walking or cycling for all or some of their daily journeys.

Participants will be provided with appropriate means to assist them, whether that be bus passes, train tickets or a bike (electric or standard) and they would be required to keep a travel diary and provide monthly updates to the council.

The project is being funded by the ‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ programme funded by the Scottish charity Paths for All, which aims to challenge travel behaviour choices and encourage more sustainable and active travel methods.

Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “It became clear very early on during the Covid-19 pandemic that a wide range of businesses could readily adapt to facilitate home working.

“The lockdowns also spurred many people into taking up walking and cycling on a daily basis for recreational purposes and as a council we are developing projects and strategies to further encourage that type of activity.

“I very much welcome this year-long pilot study and would encourage households – of any size or age – to apply for one of the places and help us learn more about travel choices.”

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “We recently heard from our transportation service that the potential to revert back to private car use after lockdowns is likely to be high.

“But we know there will be many people who will want to get back on their bikes after the winter and there will be those who will be considering homeworking as part of their working patterns. This pilot study will provide us with valuable information and help develop more sustainable and active travel methods for the future.”

If you would like to get involved, please submit an expression of interest, and tell us in less than 500 words why you would like to take part in the trial. Email applications to transportationstrategy@aberdeenshire.gov.uk