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Personal Travel Planning in Darlington

Department of Transport

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Sustainable Travel, Smarter Choices, Personal Travel Planning

In April 2004, Darlington was selected by the UK’s Department for Transport as one of three Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns to showcase the role of Smarter Choices in reducing traffic by promoting walking, cycling and public transport.

Our role

Local Motion teamed up with Steer Davies Gleave in 2005 to deliver a three-year, town-wide Personal Travel Planning programme.

Based on the results of the 2005 and 2006 surveys by Socialdata, the overall change in average travel behaviour across the whole of the urban population was:

  • a 9% reduction in car driver trips
  • a 15% increase in walking trips
  • a 65% increase in cycling trips
  • a 2% increase in public transport (bus and rail) trips

Our efforts were recognised by Transport Minister Gillian Merron who said: “These results show that simple things…can have startling results.”

How we did it

The project was unique in that the whole town, all 40,000 households, were involved. Team Local Motion staff, who were recruited and trained locally by Steer Davies Gleave, contacted residents on their doorstep through the spring and summer months each year, covering a third of the town’s households each year.

Our team was met with enthusiasm and support by residents and successfully spoke to over 26,000 people to offer them free travel information and advice, as well as to promote the environmental and health benefits of sustainable travel.

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